The Arabian Gulf Cup quarter-finals, which will be played on a home and away basis, kick off on Thursday with two games, as Khorfakkan and their guests Shabab Al Ahli face off at Saqr bin Mohammad al Qassimi Stadium, while title holders Al Nasr host Fujairah at Al Maktoum Stadium. Each team will be looking to get a positive result ahead of the second leg to avoid the cup surprises.
Shabab Al Ahli’s history vs Khorfakkan’s surprises
Shabab Al Ahli are preparing for a tough match against hosts Khorfakkan, as they will be looking to compensate their recent poor results in the Arabian Gulf League after they failed to win their fifth game in a row, by drawing 2-2 with Al Wasl in matchweek 12 to sit 8th on the standings.
Shabab Al Ahli seek to regain the title they last won in 2019, as they are the most decorated club to have won the Arabian Gulf Cup after being crowned champions on four occasions. They advanced to this season's quarter-final by defeating their hosts Al Dhafra 3-0 in the second leg, following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
On the other hand, Khorfakkan booked their seat in the quarter-final for the first time in their history by eliminating Al Ain in the biggest surprise of the competition, as they earned a 4-2 aggregate win over the Boss. Khorfakkan enter the match with high spirits, hoping to continue their surprises after their positive results in the league and their recent 2-1 victory over Fujairah.
Defending champions poised to end Fujairah’s campaign
When facing Fujairah at Al Maktoum Stadium on Thursday, title holders Al Nasr will be looking to repeat their last season’s performance, when they eliminated Fujairah off the quarter-final stage following a 1-0 win thanks to Habib Fardan’s 43rd-minute goal.
Despite Al Nasr’s 3-2 victory over Fujairah in matchweek 9 of the Arabian Gulf League, Fujairah’s comeback in the second half will keep Al Nasr cautious, as the Blues will be looking to avoid any surprises ahead of the second leg.
According to the new format of the Arabian Gulf Cup, Al Nasr start their campaign directly from the quarter-final by the virtue of being the competition’s title holders, while Fujairah booked their Arabian Gulf Cup quarter-final spot, after defeating Ajman 1-0, and then earning a 2-1 win in the second leg. Fujairah are currently struggling in the Arabian Gulf League, as they sit in the relegation zone with 7 points in 12th place.