Monday, 19 February 2018 01:49 GMT

Qatar Cup: Lekhwiya gunning for a domestic double

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Qatar Stars League (QSL) champions Lekhwiya will be gunning to make it a domestic double when they take on local rivals El Jaish in the second semi-final of the 2017 Qatar Cup on April 21 at Al Sadd Stadium.

Coach Djamel Belmadi knows his boys are in top form at the moment and he will not be looking to give any chances to the reigning Qatar Cup Champions El Jaish.

Lekhwiya, who enjoyed an outstanding QSL season, overcame the strong El Jaish outfit in both of their meetings, 2-1 and 5-1, and will go into the April 21 clash as hot favourites.

'This is a new competition for us this season. We are full of confidence after the league and of course are plan is to win both trophies. It will be a challenge against El Jaish who want to retain their title, Belmadi said during a pre-match press conference held yesterday.

'We always aspire to win the titles, and after a difficult season in the league, we enter a major and important tournament in the Qatar Cup, the case as ever is to win the trophy but we will have to best two of the most confidant sides in Qatar if we are to succeed the Algerian coach said.

Lekhwiya midfielder Abdurahman Mohammed believes his side the capacity and the desire to cap off another title winning season. 'We are all looking forward to the Qatar Cup, for us the league was the beginning this season and we are hungry to win the Qatar Cup again for Lekhwiya," he said.

As per Lekhwiya's management too, the QSL title is only the beginning of many.

Few days ago, Red Knights CEO Adnan Al Ali also said that the Falcon shield is just the first for them this season.

'This is just the first trophy for us this season; we still have to compete in the Qatar Cup and Emir Cup along with still being in the AFC Champions League. We are now looking forward to lifting more trophies this season Al Ali said on the sides ambitions after lifting the QSL falcon shield for the fifth occasion.

Lekhwiya's Tunisian international Yusef Msakni is also confident that his side can take their championship winning form into the Qatar Cup.

However, Msakni insisted Friday's match will be a challenge for his side.

'It's going to be a tough and exciting confrontation as always in our matches against El Jaish. It's not going to be easy but we have the determination and the desire to win. It will be difficult match for both sides but I believe Lekhwiya have enough for the win, Msakni said.

'The Qatar Cup is totally different from the league as you only have two games to determine the winner. We have to be at full concentration if we are to lift this trophy again noted the Tunisian international.
Despite overcoming El Jaish twice during this QSL season, Msakni is aware of what El Jaish are capable of.

'El Jaish has plenty of quality in their squad. Only last season they played in the semi-final of the AFC Champions League. They will be motivated to win the Qatar Cup for the third time, he said.
Meanwhile, El Jaish assistant coach Jean-Marc Kuentz said that they can cause problems for the reigning QSL champions and reach the Qatar cup final.
'Lekhwiya is the strongest side in Qatar right now, we know that but we believe we can cause them some problems. I hope we can win and progress to the final, Kuentz said.
'We are the defending champions. The team is well prepared for the game, and we have the history to progress and lift the trophy for a third time. Anything is possible in football, the Frenchman added when asked about El Jaish's chances of progressing to the Qatar Cup final.
El Jaish Midfielder Mohammad Mothnani said: 'The match will be a real battle. As always, against Lekhwiya we cannot make any mistakes. It's a hard match to predict, anything can happen.


Qatar Cup: Lekhwiya gunning for a domestic double

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