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African All Stars

Kenya’s Olunga on target as Al Duhail SC defeat Ayew’s Al Sadd to reach Cup final

3:39 PM SGT 15/3/22
Kenya striker Michael Olunga.
The lanky Harambee Star scored from a powerful header to help the Red Knights reach the final of the domestic competition

Kenya international Michael Olunga was among the goals as Al Duhail SC defeated Andre Ayew’s Al Sadd 3-2 in the semi-finals of the Emir Cup at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Monday night.

It was Tunisia international Ferjani Sassi, who scored the opener for Duhail in the seventh minute before Ghana international Ayew drew Sadd level in the 33rd minute but Olunga headed home the second in the 44th minute.

Sassi then stretched Duhail’s lead in the 80th minute before Algerian forward Baghdad Bounedjah reduced the deficit for Sadd but it was not enough to deny them a place in the final.

A blunder from Ayew helped Duhail to take the lead after his back pass was intercepted by Edmilson, who raced through the left wing before delivering a cross that Sassi shot from inside the penalty area past Sadd goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb.

However, the 32-year-old Black Star made amends from his mistake as he drew Sadd level, meeting a cross from former Arsenal player Santi Cazorla before placing the ball past goalkeeper Salah Zakaria.

Olunga then put Duhail ahead this time taking advantage of another good delivery from Edmilson to head the ball past Al Sheeb and give his side a 2-1 lead at the half-time break.

In the 80th minute, Al Duhail managed to score the third goal, which came from Sassi after a corner kick that Sadd’s defence tried to push away, but it fell to Sassi, who put it into the net and 10 minutes later Bounedjah reduced the difference in favour of Sadd.

Duhail coach Luis Castro was impressed with the outcome of the game.

“I am very happy with the victory over Al Sadd and qualifying for the final match. The match was difficult because we faced Al Sadd, which has a very strong offensive line and we faced difficulties in the match,” Castro said as quoted by the club’s official website.

“However, the players played well, and in the first half, our performance was offensive, unlike the second, because Al Sadd forced us to change the way we performed.

“We will face a distinguished and strong team in the final match, which is Al-Gharafa, because they play in an organized manner, and we must take care of this matter and prepare well, and we will work hard to get the title.”

Olunga and Duhail will now face Al-Gharafa in the final at Khalifa International Stadium on Friday.