Al Sadd beat Jordan’s Al Wehdat in Round 3 of 2021 AFC Champions League


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Al Sadd revived their 2021 AFC Champions League campaign with a 3-1 victory over Jordan’s Al Wehdat in a Round 3, Group D match at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Tuesday.

QNB Stars League champions Al Sadd produced a blistering three-goal burst in the opening 26 minutes, with Baghdad Bounedjah, Boualem Khoukhi and Hassan Al Haydous all getting on the scoresheet before an Ahmad Sameer penalty sparked an Al Wehdat revival late on.

Al Sadd now have four points from three matches and Al Wehdat one point.

Having been competitive in their first two matches without a win or a goal to show for it, the Jordanian side was this time blown away by a star-studded Al Sadd starting line-up.

The first goal came within two minutes, with the prolific Bounedjah poking Santi Cazorla’s corner kick over the line from a few yards after a flick-on from Guilherme Torres and that proved to be a mere warning for what was to come.

The Qatari side doubled the lead seven minutes later, with another in-swinging corner from Cazorla thundered in by Khouki’s header, which left Al Wehdat goalkeeper Ahmad Nawwas rooted to the spot.

The woodwork prevented Cazorla from making it 3-0 in the 12th minute, but Al Sadd’s relentless pressure meant the third goal arrived just before the half-hour mark, with Al Haydous racing to get onto a deflected Mohammed Waad strike before slamming the ball beyond Nawwas at his near post.

There looked to be more pain ahead for Abdullah Abu Zema when Nawwas denied Cazorla early in the second half, but there were signs of life when Abdou N’Diaye forced Al Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham into a brilliant reflex save after the Jordanians won the ball high up the pitch on the hour mark.

It was N’Diaye who proved crucial to Al Wehdat’s goal, winning a penalty when he was clumsily fouled by Tarek Salman, with Ahmad Sameer dispatching the penalty kick to become the club’s first-ever AFC Champions League goal scorer in the 63rd minute.

Al Wehdat were denied a second when Barsham saved a low effort from Sameer.

Friday will see a rematch between the two clubs, in Round 4.