Al Duhail hold Al Hilal 2-2 in AFC Champions League Round 6


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Qatar’s Al Duhail pulled off a 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in Group C of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Monday.

Moroccan striker Yousef El Arabi (15th minute) and Khalid Muneer (90+2) scored the goals for Al Duhail, the newly-crowned Amir Cup champions.

Bafetimbi Gomis struck the goals for Al Hilal in the 29th and 55th minutes at the Al Duhail Stadium.

Al Duhail thus finished their engagements in second position in the group with nine points, four less than Al Hilal.

Having already made it to the Round of 16, Al Duhail rested the likes of Mehdi Benatia and Almoez Ali. They were also without the services of injured defender Bassam Al Rawi.

After a cagey start to the match, Al Duhail hit on the counter to score from the first real opportunity. Ahmed Yasser sent a cross-field pass for Abdullah Al Ahrak who broke the offside trap and pulled the ball back for El Arabi to hit first-time into the top corner.

The first half continued in the same fashion, with Al Hilal applying high pressure on their opponents and Rui Faria’s men depending on counter-attacks to do the damage.

Gomis pressed on Al Duhail goalkeeper Khalifa Ababacar, forcing him to concede a throw-in which was quickly played, finding Mohammed Kanno who fired from inside the box. Ababacar spilled his save into the path of Gomis who pounced on the loose ball to fire home the equaliser at the half-hour mark. 

After the break, Al Hilal continued on the offensive and Sebastian Giovinco started an attacking move the centre circle, moving the ball out to Al Burayk, then Eduardo whose backheel pass found Hattan Bahebri. He set up Gomis to drive an effort from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.

In the added time, Edmilson took possession of the ball inside Al Hilal box following a poor clearance. The Brazilian used his trickery to get past his marker and sent a cross that was deflected off a defender. 

Muneer controlled the ball with his head and volleyed into the far corner, leaving Al Mayouf helpless to save and earning his side a hard-fought point right at the death.