Al Sadd beat Al Duhail to reach AFC Champions League quarterfinal


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Al Sadd defeated Al Duhail 3-1 in their AFC Champions League Round of 16 second-leg match at the Al Sadd Stadium on Tuesday.

Al Sadd thus advanced to the quarterfinal with a 4-2 aggregate victory, having held Al Duhail 1-1 in the latter’s home-leg game played at the Al Janoub Stadium on 6th August.

Akram Afif (20th minute) and Abdelkarim Hassan (34th) scored for Al Sadd, who were helped by an own goal by Al Duhail defender Ahmed Yasser (90+1).

Paolo Edmilson scored Al Duhail’s only goal in the 56th minute.

Al Duhail, who missed injured Moroccan defender Mehdi Benatia, showed more purpose from the start and dominated the early exchanges even though Al Sadd created more chances and were rewarded for their efforts by two goals before the half-time whistle.

Al Duhail striker Almoez Ali missed the target early on by shooting wide. Edmilson and captain Yousef Msakni followed suit by being off-target even as Al Sadd goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari stayed steady amid the onslaught.

Al Sadd, cheered on by sizeable home fans, gradually came into the game. Akram scored off a cross from the left by Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah after new recruit Nam Tae-Hee provided a through pass from the middle.

Abdelkarim doubled A Sadd’s lead by firing home a free-kick from the edge of the box into the top corner, catching Al Duhail goalkeeper Amine Lecomte napping. The free-kick was awarded after Asim Madibo fouled Nam.

Bounedjah came close to scoring towards the end of first half.

Al Duhail started the second half as a rejuvenated lot, with Iraqi striker Muhanad Ali and Ismail Mohammed taking the field. Their attempts bore fruit when Edmilson pulled one back by sending the ball home off a cross from the left by Ali Afif. 

Al Sadd replaced Salem Al Hajri with Boualem Khoukhi after one hour and soon Bounedjah missed a sitter as he struck his shot against the right upright with an open goal in front of him.

The last few moments saw dramatic action as Ahmed Yasser guided the ball into his own net after Hassan Al Haydous struck a free-kick from far left and Al Duhail’s Mohammed Muntari was red-carded following his scuffle with Khoukhi.