Al Duhail go down fighting to Al Hilal


Qatar’s Al Duhail went down fighting to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal 1-3 in their 2019 AFC Champions League Group C second-round fixture on Tuesday.

A three-minute double-salvo late into the second half secured a 3-1 win for Al Hilal at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh on Matchday 2.

Both sides had started their campaigns with a win, Al Hilal overcoming Al Ain 1-0 and Al Duhail putting three past Esteghlal without reply in their respective group openers.

Sebastian Giovinco and Eduardo were a constant nuisance to the Al Duhail defence throughout. The pair combined as early as the fifth minute with the Italian crossing for Eduardo whose effort went inches above the crossbar.

The partnership delivered Al Hilal’s first goal in the 25th minute after Bassam Al Rawi misplaced his pass and was duly punished.

Mohammed Kanno intercepted the ball and fed Giovinco who controlled and sent Eduardo one-on-one with the goalkeeper. The Al Hilal captain kept his composure and applied the finish from inside the box to open the scoring.

Shoya Nakajima drew Al Duhail level in the 75th minute. The Japanese international pounced on a poor headed clearance by Mohammed Jahfali to control and drill home the equaliser.

Al Hilal responded instantly by winning a corner kick. Giovinco delivered an in-swinging cross into the far post that was chested over the line by defender Ali Al Bulayhi in the 77th minute.

Before Rui Faria’s men could regroup after going behind again, they were hit with the final blow in the 79th minute.

Bafetimbi Gomis won possession deep in Al Duhail’s half and supplied Salem Al Dawsari out wide. The winger then squared to substitute Nasser Al Dawsari whose intelligent dummy drew Al Rawi away from Gomis.

The French striker still had some work to do, rounding the goalkeeper and firing into the roof of the net to secure Al Hilal’s victory.