26 march 2017
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Henry Winter

Alan Hansen

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Impossible is nothing for promoted Hatta in President Cup battle

Hatta reached the semifinals of the 2017 President Cup after beating Emirates 2-1 in the quarterfinal at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Thursday night.

Moroccan midfielder Mourad Batna had put Emirates well on the way on 19 minutes but Samuel Rosa, on loan from Brazilian club Fluminense, cancelled that out on 28 minutes.

Hatta then found their mojo with the impressive Maher Jasem Al Balooshi giving Hatta the lead on 32 minutes, and that stayed until the end. It was Emirates though who had started brightly with their Argentine striker Sebastian Sacha's header, off a corner, going wide of the post, on four minutes. Midfielder Alhusain Saleh then saw his freekick from the right, run into a wall, on 10 minutes.

Hatta, though, didn't let that affect them too much and bounced back on 28 minutes after Maher Jasem, who was outstanding on the night, had done the spadework.

Jasem stole the ball from the left and teed it up perfectly and Rosa headed it one bounce and into the net. After that impressive assist, Maher Jasem too got into the act. The Emirati received a pass from Khamis Al Ajmani from the right, controlled it, turned around and fired it home.

Adnan Al Balooshi could have increased the cushion on 36 minutes but his fierce volley was kept out by Ali Saqr.

Emirates tried hard to make a match of it with Sacha coming up with twin chances on 52 minutes and just past the hour.

First, he managed to slip into the box but the Hatta defence made the clearance in time before the Argentine could take a crack at it. Then, Sacha's low header from a Khaled Khamis cross from the left, went agonizingly wide of the post.

Maher Jasem then saw his shot go wide of the far post following a solo from the left.

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