Doha, Qatar: Al Duhail and Al Arabi yesterday clinched exciting wins in the Qatar Cup semi-finals, setting up Sunday’s mouth-watering final at the Qatar Handball Federation Complex.

Al Duhail overpowered the reigning Qatar Handball League champions Al Rayyan 35-24, while Al Arabi overcame Al Ahli 30-28 in a thriller to secure their places in the title clash.

In the first semi-final yesterday, Al Duhail showed their dominance since the starting whistle, showing resilience against the in-form side who had won the League title for the 15th occasion last week.

The half-time score stood at 18-15 in favour of Al Duhail, who went on to dominate the match from the kick-off.

Alaaeldein Belrashed led Al Duhail’s charge with seven goals, while Hamdi Ayed added five. Japanese international Chinoski Tokoda, along with Amin Nooreldien and Fasco Silvalivitch, netted four goals each, while Qatari veteran Rafael Copote added three goals to help enhance the score of Al Duhail, who last claimed the Qatar Cup title in 2020.

For Al Rayyan, Ilder Mosovic and Youssef Ben Ali emerged as the top scorers, each with six goals. Nasreldeen Almakdesi netted four goals, while Imad Kamaleen added three, but their efforts went in vain as Al Duhail, coached by Serbian Goran Djokic, marched ahead.

Speaking after the semi-final, Al Duhail goalkeeper Amin Al Badawi said teamwork and focus were key to their success.

“Thank God we succeeded in winning. We focused on defence and played as a team. Teamwork was the key. Everyone was 100% focused against a very strong team, the League champions. Today the defense worked as we intended. And, God willing, this is the first step and we hope to get going. That is the most important thing,” Al Badawi said in a post-match comment.

“Today, we can say we were more thirsty for victory than Al Rayyan Club, and the boys came out on a high note,” Al Badawi said.

Later, at the same venue, Al Arabi and Al Ahli were engaged in a fierce battle right from the start.

Al Arabi led the first half with a score of 14-13. Despite Al Ahli’s efforts, Al Arabi managed to maintain their advantage, securing the victory and a meeting against Al Duhail in the title clash.

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