Al Duhail lose to Al Shorta in Round 5 of AFC Champions League


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Qatari side Al Duhail lost 1-2 to Iraq’s Al Shorta in Round 5, Group C of the 2021 AFC Champions League in Jeddah on Tuesday.

Al Duhail remained on eight points, while already-eliminated Al Shorta now have three points with their first victory.

The Iraqi side started with a bang, taking the lead inside three minutes after Fahad Youssef’s cross from the left flank was deflected into the path of the onrushing Amjad Attwan, who hit a powerful effort on the volley that nestled in the back of the net despite goalkeeper Salah Zakaria’s desperate attempt to parry it.

Al Duhail responded with an avalanche of attacks over the next 10 minutes as goalkeeper Ahmed Basil was forced into consecutive heroic saves, first from Sultan Al Breik and then from Almoez Ali.

Having weathered the initial storm, Al Shorta grew into the game and were able to keep their opponents at bay for the remainder of the first half, even threatening again late on through Mazin Fayyadh’s shot that was saved by the goalkeeper in added time.

Al Duhail side came with renewed momentum after the restart and after early attempts missing the target by Ali and Al Breik, they were finally able to restore parity before the hour mark.

Ismail Mohammed applied pressure and won the ball high up the field before feeding his Qatar international team-mate Ali on the left flank and the Al Duhail captain squared for Michael Olunga to sweep home his eighth goal of the competition, moving four goals clear of his nearest chasers.

With just six minutes to go, Al Shorta took the lead again and did so in style. Atwan whipped a cross from a set-piece into the far post and defender Saad Natiq headed it across the face of goal and downwards for Mohammed Dawood who controlled and back-heeled it into the back of the net.

Al Duhail’s Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia was sent off in the last minutes of added time for a second bookable offence.