Al Sadd lose to Al Nassr in AFC Champions League first-leg quarterfinal
Qatar’s Al Sadd lost 1-2 to Saudi Arabia’s Al Nasr in their AFC Champions League first-leg quarterfinal at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh on Monday, 26th August.
Ali Asaad gave Al Sadd the lead in the 21st minute, but Al Nassr replied through Abdulrahman Al Dossari (44th) and Giuliano (72nd minute).
Al Nassr, without injured striker Abderazzaq Hamdallah, who plied his trade with Qatar’s Al Rayyan, dominated early on and came close to scoring in the 14th minute when Abdulrahman Al Dossari dispossessed Gabi inside the centre circle and broke free before supplying the ball to Saleh Al Abbas.
Al Abbas beat Al Sadd goalkeeper Saad Al Dossari, only to see the ball bounce off the left upright and away.
However, Al Sadd took the lead through Ali Asaad. Hassan Al Haydous failed to control Abdelkarim Hassan’s cross on the edge of the box and the ball fell to Asaad, who swept it with a first-time strike into the top corner.
Al Nassr piled the pressure on their opponents as they chased the equaliser and restored parity a minute before the half-time break.
The Al Sadd defence failed to deal with Giuliano’s cross from the corner, allowing Al Dossari to pounce on the loose ball, drilling home the leveller.
The match opened up in the second half with Akram Afif and Al Haydous threatening for the Qatari side and Fahad bin Jumayah drawing a fine reflex save out of Saad Al Dossari, all within 15 minutes of the restart.
Giuliano then turned from provider to scorer. Nordin Amarabat showed glimpses of his skill to find space down the left and crossed for substitute Feras Al Biraikan at the far post.
Al Biraikan set up Giuliano with a header across the mouth of goal and the Brazilian applied a headed finish.
Al Sadd sorely missed the services of South Korean midfielder Nam Tae-Hee, who suffered a muscle injury. He will be out of action for three weeks.
Al Sadd qualified for the quarterfinals by defeating Al Duhail, while Al Nassr put it past the UAE’s Al Wahda in Round of 16.
The return leg will be played at the Al Sadd Stadium in Doha on 16th September.