Qatar Football AssociationNews
10.02.2016 8:15 in :

Tehran: Naft Tehran’s dreams of surpassing their run to the quarter-finals of last year’s AFC Champions League came to an early end on Tuesday as Alireza Mansourian’s side were eliminated by Qatar’s El Jaish thanks to goals from Abderrezzaq Hamedallah and Romarinho.

Moroccan forward Hamedallah struck not long after the hour mark to send the Qatar Stars League side on their way towards the group stage, where they will join inaugural ACL champions Al Ain from the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan’s Nasaf Qarshi and Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia in Group D. Romarinho added the second deep into second-half stoppage time.

“We knew in advance that we would have a tough game but we played better and had numerous opportunities to score”, El Jaish coach Sabri Lamouchi said.

“Last year, Naft enjoyed the best chances but this year we made the most of our opportunities. We played better and we deserved the win.

“We’re coming off a tough match, and we are still thinking about it. We did our best to go through the group stage. It was a good test. It was a good match between two good teams in the Middle East.”

Naft, who reached the last eight of the 2015 championship having seen off El Jaish in the qualifying rounds, marginally had the better of the opening half as Hamid Bouhamdan saw his effort fly over the bar before Vahid Amiri and Iman Mobali both had their attempts collected by El Jaish goalkeeper Khalid Ababacar.

The Qataris rarely threatened in the opening 45 minutes, with Romarinho’s long-range attempt the only effort of note, but in the second period it was Lamouchi’s team who looked the more likely to score.

In the 57th minute, Hamedallah gave the Iranians a taste of what was to come when he headed Yasir Isa’s cross from the left against the crossbar as he found time and space in front of the Naft goal.

Six minutes later he was celebrating giving El Jaish the lead after poor defending by Naft meant the Iranians failed to clear Mohamed Methnani’s ball into the penalty area, and the Moroccan showed no mercy as he planted his right foot shot into the corner of Alireza Beiranvand’s goal.

As time ran down Naft pushed for the equaliser, with Amir Motahhari seeing his effort deflected wide after he had rounded Ababacar while, with five minutes remaining, Ali Ghorbani should have done better than find the arms of the El Jaish goalkeeper when running in on goal.

And on the stroke of full time, Romarinho put the result beyond any doubt when, on the break, he rolled the ball into the bottom corner as Naft pushed forward in a desperate attempt to take the game into extra-time.

“It was a closely-fought match,” said Mansourian.” We lost the game to the professional displays from some of our rivals’ players. We had chances to level and even win the match.

“I congratulate Sabri Lamouchi and the El Jaish players. Defeating Naft at the Azadi Stadium was not a simple task.”