Al Duhail held 1-1 by Al Ahli in AFC Champions League Round 2


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Qatar’s Al Duhail suffered the heartbreak of conceding a last-gasp draw against Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli in Round 2, Group C of the 2021 AFC Champions League at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on Sunday.

Omar Al Soma scored in added time to cancel out Michael Olunga’s opener for Al Duhail as the teams played out a 1-1 draw.

Al Duhail had beaten Iraq’s Al Shorta, while Al Ahli lost to Esteghlal in the opening round.

A lively start to the match took hold when inside the first minute of play, captain Almoez Ali latched onto Paulo Edmilson Junior’s pinpoint cross and narrowly missed Mohammad Al Owais’ far post, as the Qatari side looked to set the tone for the match early on, with Olunga narrowly heading wide a few minutes later as well.

Al Owais was forced into a save when Olunga received a pass from Abdullah Al Ahrak and carefully placed a right-footed shot that the Saudi keeper was more than equal to.

Ali once again tested the keeper 10 minutes before the break when he dribbled through the Saudi side’s ranks and fired a shot that was dealt with by Al Owais, after a period of play where the intensity had slightly dropped.

The deadlock was broken less than 10 minutes into the second half, with the home side finally caving under pressure when Edmilson ran down the right flank and crossed the ball into the area - initially looking like it was aimed for Ali - but a deflection put into Olunga’s path and the Kenyan made no mistake in front of goal this time.

With the final whistle approaching, Olunga missed a golden chance to double his tally and the scoreline when some smart interplay between his team-mates culminated in a penalty-shot like situation for the Kenyan, yet he somehow skied it.

Al Soma equalised for the hosts at the death when Al Duhail’s defence failed to clear a corner that fell to Motaz Hawsawi, who played it to the Syrian, the latter volleying it into the net against the run of play.