Saturday, 24 August 2019 02:59 GMT

Qatar giants Al Duhail aim to reach new heights after treble

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Armstrong Vas I The Peninsula

DOHA: Football rivals be warned! QNB Stars League (QSL), Qatar Cup and Amir Cup champions Al Duhail have no plan to stop after completing the most impressive season in recent history.

According to coach Djamel Belmadi (pictured), Al Duhail will look ways to improve despite remaining unbeaten in the regular season, home and away, in the last nine months.

Al Duhail, who beat Al Rayyan in the Amir Cup final on Saturday night to complete a stunning home treble, will be seeking ways to improve their game and take it to the next level, Belmadi said.

'We are always improving. Players like Sultan Al Brake and Bassam Hisham are all improving, and Al Moez still has scope for improvement. It is a continuous process, Belmadi said.

The Algerian disclosed that with the injury to regular captain Youssef Msakni, Korean striker Nam Tae-Hee has stepped up and is shouldering more attacking responsibilities.

'When Msakni was there he and Nam Tae Hee used to share the attacking leadership. This season Msakni was in great form scoring 25 goals and a lot of assists and maybe we saw a little less of Nam than the previous season.

'But since the injury of Msakni we had this talking together that you have more responsibility, he said.

Belmadi is ecstatic that his team has finished the home season on a high while giving his boys full credit for coming on top in the ‘tough match' against Al Rayyan in the Amir Cup final.

On Saturday night at the Khalifa International Stadium, Al Duhail edged Al Rayyan in a three -goal thriller to win the prestigious Amir Cup.

The final, Belmadi had said on the eve of the match, was never going to be easy.

'I expected a tough match and I had said it before, the Algerian tactician said while talking to journalists after the final.

'Al Rayyan are a strong Champions League team and besides three days ago we played a crucial match against Al Ain and this was bound to be tough, he added.

Belmadi is happy the way his team has shaped up this season collecting lot of silverware in the process.

'It's a great season, of course. Huge achievement from the club and we cannot expect more, he said.

'We took all the trophies, we won all the competitions, and we are in the quarter-finals of (the AFC) Champions League with eight victories, Belmadi said.

Although Al Duhail started the season by losing to Al Sadd in the one-off Sheikh Jassim Cup match, the loss at the start of the season did not affect his team, he said.

'Winning or losing does not affect me. It is always difficult at the start of the season. We dominated and forced some 25-odd flag kicks to Al Sadd's 6 or 7, they had three or four goal scoring opportunities and they scored. It is always difficult during the start of the season, added Belmadi.

The new football season will kick off in August.


Qatar giants Al Duhail aim to reach new heights after treble

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