Doha: Al Gharafa revisited their glory days after a gap of almost five years when they beat Al Rayyan 3-2 in the final to win the QSL Cup.
Ahmed Alaaeldin, who scored with a blazing strike besides providing the assists for Luis Jimenez and Amro Seraj for the other goals, was the chief architect for Gharafa in the match which saw Rayyan's inspirational captain Rodrigo Tabata miss a penalty in the 82nd minute. Abderrazzaq Hamedallah scored the opener for Rayyan who were also helped by an own goal from Gharafa goalkeeper Qasem Burhan.
Gharafa, champions in the inaugural edition in 2009, had a blazing start to the match, attacking Rayyan goal in waves and they took the lead as early as the third minute of the match.
Alaaeldin showed his strength in winning the ball in the midfield and then displayed his presence of mind to find Jimenez with a perfect ball. The Gharafa captain had all the time in the world to beat Rayyan goalkeeper Saoud Mubarak and he did exactly that with a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
After Gharafa's initial onslaught, Rayyan found their feet and got the equaliser in the 12th minute.
Tabata found Hamedallah with a beautiful scooped pass and the Rayyan striker gave it the finish it deserved, sidefooting his volley into the roof of the net.
Gharafa did not stop attacking despite the setback and took the lead again in the 36th minute.
Diego Amado found Amro Seraj breaking with pace on the left. The Qatar Under-23 player gave the ball to Alaaeldin and casually slotted home the return pass to make it 2-1.
Rayyan started attacking with more intent and Qasim Burhan had to come up with a fingertip save to stop Rayyan from equalising after a Tabata freekick spread panic in Rayyan area.
In the second half, both teams continued in the same vein and Gharafa had Rayyan goal under severe pressure again after Amado won the ball in the midfield and found Alaaeldin in a dangerous position. But the forward, for once, erred and his pass for Amro was slightly overhit, letting the opportunity pass up.
Alaaeldin soon made amends for that error in spectacular style in the 64th as he ran down a Khaled Abdelrouf pass and defeated Saoud Mubarak with a powerful shot that took a slight deflection off Mohammed Kasola's legs to make it 3-1.
Rayyan came back into the match in no time as Kasola's header to meet Tabata's corner ricocheted off the crossbar onto Gharafa goalkeeper Qasim Burhan's head and into the goal in the 69th.
Rayyan, looking for an equaliser, attacked with all their might and Gharafa goal was under constant threat thereafter.
And they were rewarded for that when Gharafa conceded a penalty after Amro fouled Mohammed Alaaeldin inside the box in the 80th minute. Referee Abdulla Ali pointed to the spot after a bit of hesitation, which led to vehement protests from Gharafa players. However, to their delight, Burhan stopped Tabata's attempt from the spot.
At the other end, Jimenez then hit the top corner of the woodwork with a curling freekick but it didn't matter much as Gharafa held on for a famous victory.
It was their first title since the 2012 Emir Cup.