Al Rayyan lose to Al Ittihad in AFC Champions League


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Qatar’s Al Rayyan went down fighting 0-2 to Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad in Group B of the 2019 AFC Champions League fifth round at the Al Sadd Stadium on Tuesday.

Two goals in five minutes helped Al Ittihad reach the knockout stage.

Al Rayyan needed a win on home soil to stand a chance of grabbing one of the two Round-of-16 tickets.

The hosts threatened through Abdulaziz Al Hasia whose seventh-minute touch of Mohammed Alaaeldin’s cross was not strong enough to direct it goalwards. Al Ittihad responded a few minutes later as Nasir Al Shamrani stabbed Abdullah Al Amar’s cross wide of the target.

A quick succession of passes at the edge of the Al Rayyan penalty box saw Carlos Villanueva slip a through pass for Al Shamrani who watched his outside-of-the-boot finish tipped by the leg of goalkeeper Fahd Younis.

Al Hasia latched onto Ahmed Al Saadi’s through pass and drilled an effort from a narrow angle that was saved by Al Ittihad goalkeeper Fawaz Al Qarni, while Abdulaziz Al Bishi shot high and wide for the Saudi side as the first half ended goalless. 

Al Ittihad were a different side in the second half and were soon in front through Al Shamrani in the 62nd minute.

A swift display of passing deep into Al Rayyan’s half was followed by another Fahd Al Muwallad assist, setting up Romarinho to finish from a tight angle in the 67th minute, doubling Al Ittihad’s lead. 

The visitors survived a late scare as Lucca Borges struck the woodwork from a curled free-kick in added time.