Al Sadd survive second half scare; reach ACL semis
Doha: Al Sadd missed a host of chances but still withstood a strong challenge
from Iranian side Esteghlal to draw 2-2 on the night and advance to the AFC
Champions League semifinal with a 5-3 aggregate victory.
In the match played at their own beautiful stadium with a green velvet carpet
of a pitch, Sadd never lost control of the game, but they could not dominate
Akram Afif and Baghdad Bounedjah scored for Sadd while Rouhollah Bagheri and
Morteza Tabrizi found the target for Esteghlal, who played almost the whole
of the second half with 10 men after Rouzbeh Cheshmi was red carded in the 50th
minute for a foul on Afif.
In the semifinal, Sadd will take on another Iranian side Persepolis, who came
back strongly from a goal down at home to stun Qatar’s Al Duhail SC 3-1 for a
3-2 aggregate result.
Al Sadd, Asian champions 2011 and 1989, will be looking to enter their third final,
but a tough challenge awaits them in the form of Persepolis.