Al Sadd defeat Al Wehdat back-to-back in AFC Champions League


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QNB Stars League 2020-21 season champions Al Sadd extended their domination of Jordan’s Al Wehdat by beating them 2-0 in the 2021 AFC Champions League Round 4, Group D at the King Fahd International Stadium in Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Friday.

Al Sadd thus moved on to seven points, while Al Wehdat remained on one point.

Al Sadd will face Iran’s Foolad Khouzestan, with Al Wehdat facing Al Nassr in Round 5 on Monday.

Al Sadd had beaten Al Wehdat by a 3-1 margin in Round 3 on Tuesday.

Al Sadd dominated the early proceedings with their first look at goal coming in the sixth minute when Baghdad Bounedjah won a free-kick just outside the box, but Al Wehdat goalkeeper Abdallah Al Fakhori safely parried Santi Cazorla’s strike.

However, Al Wehdat suffered a blow six minutes later when defender Yazan Alarab conceded a penalty for a challenge on Bounedjah, with Cazorla easily converting the spot-kick to give the Qatari champions the lead.

With their AFC Champions League hopes on the line, Al Wehdat had to shed their defensive approach and the Jordanian side came close in the 21st minute with Khaled Assam’s right-footed shot striking the upright, before Abdou Ndiay forced a save out of Al Sadd goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham four minutes later.

Al Wehdat upped their tempo and continued pressing, but could not find the equaliser as Al Sadd were hardly stretched in the remaining minutes of the first half.

In an attempt to bolster his side, Al Wehdat coach Abdullah Abu Zema made three substitutions, sending on Amara Munther Abu, Ahmed Haikal and Ahmad Zreik on the hour mark, but it was to no avail as Al Sadd held firm in defence.

Al Wehdat’s hopes suffered another setback when Alarab received his second yellow card of the night in the 76th minute for a foul on Yousef Abdulrazaq.

Al Sadd could have closed off the match in the 81st minute, with Bounedjah picking up a through pass, but the Algerian striker’s shot deflected off the post.

Ali Asad, however, confirmed the points for Al Sadd when he finished Yousef Abdulrazaq’s pass in the 89th minute.