Kuwait City: Al Qadsia grabbed a slender lead in their AFC Cup semi-final against Jordanian champions Al Faisaly as goals in either half by Khaled al Qahtani and Mesaed Nada gave them a 2-1 victory in the first leg on Wednesday.
Al Qahtani bundled the ball in from close range just before half-time at the Peace & Friendship Stadium and Nada made up for an earlier penalty miss by adding a second in the 76th minute.
However Rodrigo De Souza struck for the visitors with an away goal with eight minutes left to set up a tantalising return match in Amman later this month.
Al Faisaly got the better of Al Qadsia in the AFC Cup group stage last year with a 2-1 win in Kuwait City but the hosts began the match in determined fashion and they deservedly took the lead with a fine team goal after 38 minute.
Bader Al Mutwa fed the ball to Saif Al Hashan who neat relayed the ball on to Rossetto. The Brazilian forward beat a defender and sent a dangerous low cross across the face of the goal towards Al Qahtani, who shot home from close range.
The hosts continued to dominate play early in the second half and they thought that they had scored a second goal in the 56th minute when Al Mutwa broke clear in the box and slid the ball past Al Faisaly goalkeeper Mohamad Shatnawi only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.
Worse was to follow for the home side six minutes later when they were awarded a penalty for Antonio Junior’s foul on midfielder Talal Al Amer. Nada had converted a penalty in the quarter-final win over Al Shorta but he lost his nerve this time around and blazed his shot well over the crossbar
However, the second goal would finally arrive in the 76th minute as Saleh Al Sheikh gave the ball to Al Mutwa whose powerful shot from an acute angle on the right was blocked by the leg of goalkeeper Mohamad Shatnawi and went right to the lurking Nada, who turned the ball in.
The Kuwaiti side looked to be in a strong position for the second leg but Al Faisaly hit back through Rodrigo with a precious away goal eight minutes from time as Ra’ed Fraih beat an Al Qadsia defender before sending a low cross into the six-yard box where substitute Rodrigo had enough time to beat Nawaf Al Khaldi from close range.