Preview - Round of 16 2nd Leg: Al Sadd SC (1) v (1) Al Duhail SC
Doha: Domestic rivals Al Sadd and Al Duhail lock horns again on Tuesday in the second leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Al Janoub Stadium last week.
The two Qatari giants were present at the quarter-final stage last year, but there is only room for one of them amongst Asia’s top eight this time around.
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Al Duhail will be without central defender Medhi Benatia who suffered a knee injury 18 minutes into the first leg. The club has since announced the Moroccan international is set to undergo surgery and will be sidelined for up to four months.
Coach Rui Faria will, however, be encouraged by the positive debut performances of Youssef Msakni who netted Al Duhail’s goal in the first leg on his return from a loan spell at KAS Eupen and Mohanad Ali, who showed glimpses of his ability in his 25-minute cameo.
Akram Afif’s first-half goal gave Al Sadd the lead on the night and the away goal advantage, meaning a goalless draw at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday would be enough for Xavi’s side to reach the Continental quarter-finals for the sixth time in their history.
Awaiting the aggregate winners of the two Qatari sides is a quarter-final date with the winners between UAE’s Al Wahda and Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, who face-off in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
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