Not that many people doubted him, but Ismail Matar is proving to be quite a hit in Qatar.
The UAE international has joined
Al Sadd on a month-long loan and made his debut in the Crown Prince Cup
against Al Ahli.
It was quite a game. It ended 3-3
and then Al Sadd took the tie 4-2 after a penalty shootout.
The 25-year-old came off the
bench in the first half with his side trailing 2-0 and a man short.
He delighted his new fans with an
assist and then a great goal.
“This was a great opportunity for me to play for a team outside my country,” he
“I just hope there will be more opportunities coming my way. But for the moment
I would like to concentrate on the job in hand and fulfil my obligations with
Al Sadd. I would have been very disappointed if I had to return after one game.
“I was sent on to the pitch at a difficult time. We were trailing 2-0 and were
reduced to 10 players. Still we managed to play good football."
Al Sadd have already seen their attendances swelled by expat Emiratis, as Matar mentioned.
"I didn’t feel
like we were playing outside the UAE because there were plenty of Emirati fans,
many from my club Al Wahda, and I was quite surprised to see them come all the
way to cheer our side," he said.
“The level of play was quite similar to the Pro League, but this game
raised the bar. It was a good team effort and I was pleased with my contribution.
“I think the experience of playing outside, in stronger competitions, provides
a lot of benefits and the Emirati players should be given that opportunity.”