Doha: The stage is set for a thrilling finale to the sixth edition of the City Exchange Ria IME QIA Champions League, with Team MBM taking on City Exchange TJSV Tea Time FC in the title clash at the Al Arabi Stadium on May 11.
Team MBM progressed to the final after their opponents United Kerala FC forfeited the semifinal clash, while City Exchange TJSV Tea Time FC defeated YAAS Qatar by a single goal in the other last-four clash.
There was all drama and no play in the first semifinal as United Kerala fielded an ineligible player for their match against Team MBM, refusing to comply with tournament regulations before walking off the pitch. The referee awarded MBM the win and a spot in the final.
City Exchange TJSV Tea Time FC had to fight tooth and nail against YAAS Qatar at the Doha Stadium.
Tournament leading scorer Mousoof Naizan led the line for City Exchange TJSV and it was his effort that finally led to the breakthrough. In the 42nd minute, Mousoof's strike crashed off the crossbar, only for Bijesh Balan to finish off the rebound.
YAAS Qatar emerged with more desire following the halftime break and carved up a number of chances to score, with star striker Faizal Rahman memorably coming up with an overhead kick, but they were denied by resolute defending by City Exchange TJSV.
A capacity crowd is expected at the Al Arabi Stadium for the final, which will be preceded by a musical show featuring prominent artists from India and Nepal, including Naresh Iyer, Sharanya Srinivas, Sidharth Nagarajan, Yumna Ajin and Navneeth Sunder.