Lekhwiya Forced into Goalless Draw
Doha: Lekhwiya forward Sebastian Soria was left to rue his missed first half penalty as the Qatari side and Iran’s Tractorsazi Tabriz shared the points following a 0-0 draw in the AFC Champions League Group C fixture at Lekhwiya Sports Stadium on Tuesday.
The Qatar international striker had a golden opportunity to open the scoring from the spot after just 15 minutes but he struck his penalty kick wide of Hamed Lak’s right-hand post.
An all-action affair between two evenly matched teams featured both sides hitting the woodwork, superlative saves from the goalkeepers, a disallowed goal and a sending off for Tabriz’s Mohammad Nosrati but crucially no goals.
With confidence high amongst the Tabriz players following their Matchday One victory over Saudi side Al Ittihad, they were intent on imposing themselves on the game right from the start with their first effort on goal coming after just two minutes as Mehdi Kiani drilled a shot just wide with the outside of his right foot.
But on the quarter hour mark it was the home side who had the best chance of the game when Lak brought down Youssef Msakni in the area and referee Kim Dong-jin awarded a penalty to Lekhwiya.
The normally prolific Soria, however, was unable to convert the spot kick with his right-footed shot whistling inches wide.
The visitors went close to punishing the forward’s prolificacy midway through the first half when Farshad Ahmadzadeh slide the ball into the area for a combined effort from both Saeid Daghighi and Mohammad Ebrahimi, who seemed to strike the ball at the same moment, that smacked against the inside of Claude Amine’s post.
On 29 minutes Vladimir Weiss was also ruing the woodwork at the other end after his vicious free-kick from 22 yards out that slammed against the upright with Lak beaten.
In a breathless spell of end-to-end attacks leading up to half-time, Ahmadzadeh then found himself through on goal but as he hesitated Amine was able to close him down and pull of an impressive one-handed save to push the Tabriz forward’s shot wide.
After the interval the game’s pace showed no sign of slowing and Weiss tested Lak again just a minute into the second half with another superbly struck free-kick that the Tabriz custodian athletically parried away.
And 10 minutes later Dame Traore thought he had given the home side the lead after he slotted past Lak from close range, only for the goal to be disallowed due to offside.
On 68 minutes Soria was once more denied after being played through by Karim Boudiaf but seeing his effort, yet again, come to nothing as Lak dived low to his left-hand side to keep the scores level.
Having played the majority of the contest at a furious tempo, it was unsurprising that both teams began to tire in the final minutes but there was still time, with six minutes remaining, for defender Nosrati to receive his second yellow card for persistent fouling and be given his marching orders by the referee.