Faria credits training ground work for qualification
Tehran: Al Duhail coach Rui Faria credited work on the training ground for his side’s qualification to the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 after a 1-1 draw against Esteghlal at Azadi Stadium on Monday.
The Qatari side needed a single point from their trip to Tehran to book their place in the next stage, and they got exactly that. Roozbeh Cheshmi put Esteghlal in front in the 53rd minute, but Al Duhail responded within two minutes thanks to Edmilson’s maiden AFC Champions League goal.
“We worked hard in training in the build up to this match and it showed with our display on the pitch and the way we imposed our football on the opponents,” said the 43-year-old.
See also :
“We deserved to walk away with the three points, but we are satisfied with the result since it means we qualify to the next round.”
Al Duhail’s previous visit to Azadi Stadium saw them lose 3-1 to Esteghlal’s arch-rivals, Persepolis. But the experience helped Faria’s men prepare better this time around.
“We knew they would be backed by a huge, enthusiastic crowd at Azadi Stadium. We were fully aware it would be a difficult game. Every match in this group has been difficult.
“We studied Esteghlal well and put plans in place to counter the challenges their playing style poses, and I am pleased we were able to qualify.
FT: Esteghlal FC 🇮🇷 1 - 1 Al-Duhail SC 🇶🇦— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) May 6, 2019
Esteghlal misses out on an opportunity to qualify to the next round. Al-Duhail do just enough to secure a space in R16.#ESTvADH #ACL2019 pic.twitter.com/GA1gXmKpKs
Last year, Al Duhail matched the AFC Champions League record of nine consecutive wins, before bowing out at the quarter-finals. And while a repeat of such a record is not possible this time around, Faria believes his side can move to another gear come the knock-out stages.
“We are looking forward to the next stage of the competition. I am optimistic that we can show a different side to our game as we continue to work hard and get the results we require."
Recommended Stories :