Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Doha: Korea Republic international Nam Tae-hee scored a regulation time equaliser before netting a decisive spot-kick as Lekhwiya overturned a two-goal deficit to ultimately defeat Al Sadd 4-2 on penalties and win the Emir Cup for the first time in their history.
After a 4-0 first-leg hammering at the hands of El Jaish in the Round of 16 of the 2016 AFC Champions League left Lekhwiya’s hopes of a first continental title all but over, Djamal Belmadi’s crestfallen side appeared destined for more disappointment as Al Sadd scored two goals in the space of five second-half minutes to put the cup holders on course for a hat-trick of Emir Cup final wins.
The 15-time champions broke the deadlock 62 minutes into Friday’s meeting at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium through Baghdad Bounedjah before Abdulkarim Hassan added to the Algerian international’s opener five minutes later.
Spanish defender Chico Flores pulled one back in the 70th minute before Nam levelled the scores seven minutes later as regulation time ended 2-2 to leave Lekhwiya still in the hunt for their maiden Emir Cup title.
And Nam was once again to prove pivotal as the club that was established in 2009 made history when the midfielder - scorer of Lekhwiya’s first-ever ACL goal in their 2012 continental campaign - successfully converted his side’s fourth spot-kick after 2006 AFC Player of the Year Khalfan Ibrahim, Nadir Belhadj and Ibrahim Maged had missed for Al Sadd.
Lekhwiya’s victory over the 2011 ACL champions was the perfect fillip for Belmadi’s charges as they head into the second leg of their 2016 AFC Champions League clash against El Jaish on Wednesday, with the newly-crowned Emir Cup champions needing to pull off an even better comeback to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the ACL for a second time.