Al Duhail face Al Hilal challenge


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Top Qatari side Al Duhail look to build on their good start as they take on Al Hilal in the second round of AFC Champions League Group C on Tuesday, 12th March. The kick-off is at the King Saud University Stadium in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh at 18:45.

Al Duhail had defeated Iran’s Esteghlal 3-0 in their opener in Doha, while Al Hilal beat Al Ain 1-0.

Al Duhail’s Portuguese coach Rui Faria is targeting a good run for his team in this year’s premier continental competition. They are leading the group with three points, followed by Al Hilal (three), Al Ain (0) and Esteghlal (0).

New recruit and Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia, last two seasons’ QNB Stars League top scorer Yousef El Arabi and Ali Afif scored Al Duhail’s goals against Esteghlal, whereas Mohammed Al Shalhoub netted the winner for Al Hilal against Al Ain.

Al Duhail are expected to take the field with a full squad that includes goalkeeper Amine Lecomte, Benatia, Ahmed Yasser, Murad Naji, Sultan Al Breik, Bassam Al Rawi, Luis Martin, Paolo Edmilson, Karim Boudiaf, Shoya Nakajima and El Arabi. Asim Madibo is recovering from an injury.

The much-experienced Benatia and Nakajima are proving to be valuable winter additions to the Al Duhail ranks.

However, the technical staff of Al Duhail are well aware of the difficulty of the game, especially since they are playing away from home. Moreover, Al Hilal are highly motivated by their away victory at Al Ain.

Al Hilal have a star-studded line-up comprising the likes of Abdullah Al Mayouf, Al Shalhoub, Yasser Al Shahrani, overseas recruits Sebastian Giovinco, Andre Carrillo and Jonathan Soriano.