Boudiaf boost for Al Duhail
Doha: Karim Boudiaf impressed in Qatar's 3-0 win over Palestine in an international friendly on Tuesday and that is good news for Al Duhail ahead of their 2018 AFC Champions League quarter-final return leg against Islamic Republic of Iran's Persepolis on Monday.
Midfielder Boudiaf missed the first leg, which Al Duhail won 1-0, and the skipper's return from knee surgery is just what the Qatar club need in what is sure to be a massive test for them in the imposing Azadi Stadium.
Al Duhail are chasing an AFC Champions League record of 10 consecutive wins but in Persepolis, they will face a side who have a perfect record of four home wins in the Continent's premier club tournament this season.
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The Azadi Stadium will be at its roaring best as Persepolis attempt to overturn the first leg deficit, something which they did in the Round of 16 against Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates, winning the return leg 2-1 after having lost the first tie 3-2 to advance on away goals.
While Al Duhail coped with Boudiaf's absence in the first leg against Persepolis, his imposing presence will further add stability to a side who have impressed throughout the season.
Boudiaf, who suffered the knee injury in Al Duhail’s Sheikh Jassim Cup loss to Al Rayyan on August 2, has played a pivotal role in his team's surge in the 2018 AFC Champions League with three goals to his name.
Boudiaf netted twice in the 3-1 win over Zobahan and scored the second of Al Duhail's three goals in a narrow 3-2 triumph against Al Wahda on Matchday Two.
Almoez Ali's header gave Al Duhail the win over Persepolis in the first leg and with Boudiaf back, coach Nabil Maaloul will be optimistic his team will leave Azadi Stadium on Monday as winners and record setters.
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