First leg win is a confidence booster, says Al Nassr's Giuliano
Riyadh: Al Nassr midfielder Giuliano believes his side’s confidence will be boosted by the 2-1 victory over Al Sadd in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-final.
The Saudi side came from behind to secure their first-ever home win in an AFC Champions League knockout stage match as goals from Abdulrahman Al Dossari and Giuliano settled matters in a closely-contested affair at the King Fahd International Stadium on Monday.
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“It was a good game. I am happy not just for the result, but also for the good performance and character we showed,” said the 29-year-old.
“It was a difficult test, we played against a team with quality players who knew what they wanted out of the match, but I think they didn’t expect us to play this way."
Al Nassr found themselves trailing after just 14 minutes as Ali Asad finished a well worked Al Sadd move into the top corner. Rui Vitoria’s men then regrouped and dominated the rest of the proceedings.
Al Dossari netted the equaliser just before the break and Giuliano’s header won it for the hosts with 18 minutes to go.
“We did not change our approach and showed what we are all about. Even at critical times after they scored, we remained focused and carried on in the same way. That was key to our win."
The Brazilian’s header marks his sixth goal of the 2019 AFC Champions League and makes Giuliano Al Nassr’s all-time top scorer in the competition, a record he previously shared with Kuwaiti legend Bader Al Mutawa with five goals each.
“I work hard to be at my best. Last season was good for me and the team, and this season I am working hard to become even better.
“I’m in a good moment now; physically, mentally and technically. I have the trust of my manager and teammates. The whole team trusts one another, and we will work hard to keep it that way."
FT: Al Nassr FC 🇸🇦 2 - 1 Al Sadd SC 🇶🇦— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) August 26, 2019
From a goal down to winning the match. Can Al Nassr carry this momentum into Doha a few weeks from tonight?
Awaiting a very interesting 2nd leg on 16/09/19. #ACL2019 #NSRvsSDD pic.twitter.com/8DjHKamE2u
Al Nassr take a slender lead to Doha where they face an Al Sadd side that have won each of their four home games in the competition so far. Giuliano and co will be encouraged by the fact they secured their quarter-final place on the road, having only gotten a draw in Riyadh against Al Wahda before snatching a 3-2 away win in the second leg of the Round of 16 in Abu Dhabi.
“This is just the first match. Yes, the result is positive for us, but there is still one more leg to go. Our performance today gives us confidence to do even better in the next match."
Photos: AFC & Al Nassr FC
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