News ID: 230478
Published: 0723 GMT August 28, 2018

Al Sadd one step away from ACL semis thanks to first-leg win against Esteghlal

Al Sadd one step away from ACL semis thanks to first-leg win against Esteghlal

Qatar's Al Sadd took a big step towards the semifinals of the 2018 AFC Champions League (ACL) after Baghdad Bounedjah's brace secured the team a 3-1 comeback win over Iranian Persian Gulf Pro League club Esteghlal in the first leg of the quarterfinals on Monday.

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

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 were 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 the penalty, following a foul on him by Vouria Ghafouri.

Al Sadd will now take home a valuable advantage ahead of the return leg in Doha on September 17.


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