Qatar’s Al Sadd Dismantles Estghlal

Al Sadd took a big step towards the semifinals of the League after Baghdad Bounedjah’s brace secured them a 3-1 comeback win
Baghdad Bounedjah in action with Esteghlal playersBaghdad Bounedjah in action with Esteghlal players

Esteghlal FC of Tehran on Monday changed the minor victory with a heavy loss (3-1) against Qatari Al Sadd at home Azadi Stadium of Tehran due to shambolic defense line giving the chance of penetrating their goal to the Qatari side.

Iranian and Qatari side lined up on Monday for the first leg of the AFC Champions League quarterfinal match in the heat of the Blues fan having the 90% of Azadi chairs. The team aimed to beat Al Sadd at home to have less pressure in the second leg match in Doha on September 17.

But what came true was a paradoxical loss despite the 1-0 victory in the first half.

Al Sadd took a big step towards the semifinals of the League after Baghdad Bounedjah’s brace secured them a 3-1 comeback win.

The 2011 Qatari champion began the game brightly but was dealt a blow in the 12th minute, conceding after an unfortunate mistake.

A high ball into the Al Sadd box was headed down by Boualem Khoukhi for his keeper Meshaal Aissa to pick up, but the young custodian inadvertently let it slip past him to gift the host an opener.

Esteghlal maintained its lead right up to halftime, after surviving a scare in injury time when Akram Afif’s shot rebounded off the post to be gathered by Esteghlal keeper Mehdi Rahmati.

In the second half, Al Sadd came out of the tunnel looking for a way back into the game and was rewarded for its attacking intent with a goal at the hour mark following a well-worked move. After a fine one-two with Bounedjah, Afif beat his marker and finished past Rahmati to level the score.

Five minutes later, Bounedjah latched onto Xavi’s flicked through ball, made his way into the box, turned Mohammad Daneshgar inside out before slotting home Al Sadd’s second goal.

Bounedjah then made it 3-1 for the Qataris in the 74th minute after winning and then converting a penalty, following a foul on him by Vouria Ghafouri.

Blues hopes to win their third Asian title seems shattered now as they will have a hard game in Doha in the return leg but Esteghlal’s German manager Winfried Shaefer can mend his team’s defense line, there may be still light at the end of the tunnel for them.

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