Doha, Qatar: Al Arabi clinched their second Qatar Handball Cup title, edging Al Duhail 35-34 after the penalty shootout of a thrilling final at Qatar Handball Association’s court yesterday.

Al Arabi had built a lead in the first half but Al Duhail fought back to level the scores 26-26 at full-time

Al Duhail went 29-26 up in extra time with Swiss player Janus Lapajne netting three consecutive goals, but goals from Al Arabi’s Mohammed and Basil Mosa, along with a penalty shot from Anis Zouaoui forced a shootout after the scores read 29-29.

The shootout was no short of drama either. Al Arabi goalkeeper Ahmed M stopped both Fasco Silvalivitch and Ahmed Saleh’s attempts, but both Abdulrahman Abdulla and Amin Nooreldien succeeded, while Alaaeldein Belrashed’s shot was off target.

Al Arabi’s Zouaoui and Nadal Issa both succeeded, but Al Duhail keeper Ahmed Albidawi foiled the attempts of Abdulrahman Ali, Boslan, and Mohammed, with the score tied once again, this time at 31.

In the sudden death, Al Arabi’s Zouaoui, Issa, and Ali succeeded in scoring, while Mohammed failed once again before Wajdi Snan scored their 35th goal.

Al Duhail’s Abdulrahman Abdulla, and Nooreldien Fasco Silvalivitch were on target, but failed attempts from Ahmed Saleh and Belrashed meant Al Arabi clinched the victory in a thrilling title clash.

Speaking after the final, Al Arabi’s goalkeeper Ahmed said the Qatar Cup win was very important to his team.

“It is an important moment for us. The Qatar Cup is a very important cup for us, especially since we are really tired this season. The players are tired after a very busy season. We had to do a lot of preparations. Thank God, the Qatar Cup is ours now. God willing, we will be successful in the Amir Cup too,” Ahmed, who made a number of crucial saves, said.

“No one anticipated in the beginning that this match was going for the penalty kicks. I mean, it was a real tough game,” Ahmed said.

The Amir Cup semi-finals will take place tomorrow, with Al Duhail taking on Al Rayyan, while Al Arabi meeting Al Wakrah in the semi-finals.

“Al Duhail is a very strong team. Let’s see what happens at the Amir Cup. God willing, when we play against the Al Wakrah team, we must forget about today’s win. Of course, we celebrate a little today. But then we will forget all celebrations and prepare for the semi-final,” Ahmed said.

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