Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez was at the center of the action as Al Sadd clinched a dramatic late winner in the Emir Cup final on Friday, Qatar's biggest domestic cup competition.
The newly refurbished Khalifa International Stadium hosted the exciting encounter, its first match since the 2022 World Cup venue was completed. Xavi became the first captain to lift a trophy at the stadium since 2014, before its refurbishment when coincidentally, it was Al Sadd who won the Emir Cup led by former Real Madrid star, Raul Gonzalez.
QSL side Al Sadd came from a goal behind to seal their 16th ever Emir Cup crown with a 2-1 win over Al Rayyan thanks to a stoppage time winner from attacker Jugurtha Hamroun, a goal Xavi set up with a delightful pass.
Al Rayyan broke the deadlock just four minutes into the second half, courtisey of club captain Rodrigo Tabata. The Qatar international stabbed in from close range at the second time of asking, pouncing on the rebound.
Seven minutes later and Al Sadd found their way back into the match from the penalty spot. Algerian attacker Bagdad Bounjah was adjudged to have have been fouled in the area, giving the referee little choice to award the penalty. Hassan Haydos stepped up and scored to level the scores.
Both sides pushed hard for a winner, and it was Al Sadd who sealed the Emir cup in stoppage time. With minutes left to play, Al Sadd captain Xavi produced some smart control and slipped through Algerian winger Hamroun.
Al Sadd’s number five showed plenty of composure, fighting off the advances of the Al Rayyan defence before blasting the ball into the roof of the net, and sealing the 2-1 victory.