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ACL2020: Vitoria credits Al Nassr's teamwork for win over Sepahan


Doha: Al Nassr manager Rui Vitoria praised his side’s teamwork as they finished Matchday Three at the helm of Group D after a convincing 2-0 win against Sepahan FC on the return to action in the 2020 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

A brace from Moroccan Abderrazak Hamdallah either side of the halftime break secured the points at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium even as Sepahan rallied late on to try and salvage something from the game but to no avail.

Al Nassr top Group D with seven points from three games, having extended their unbeaten run in the 2020 edition to three games, but the task is far from over for the Riyadh based side at the halfway point of the group stage, according to manager Vitoria.

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“We did well against a competitive side that wanted to win the match,” said the 50-year-old.

“Our level of performance was good, and we could have finished the game off early on. We dominated, although there were intermittent drops as does happen in any game."

Group D - MD3: Sepahan 0-2 Al Nassr

"I am happy with how my team played, it was a collectively good effort, and this makes it easier for any player to stand out and perform to the best of their abilities.

“It is true that we managed to take all three points, but it does not end here. We still have a couple of important games in the competition if we are to secure qualification.”

A second consecutive defeat for Sepahan following their 4-0 opening day demolition of Al Ain rings alarm bells for Mojtaba Toutouni’s side, but the coach remains defiant looking ahead to the reverse fixture on Friday.

“It was a close encounter, we are playing in the AFC Champions League against the best teams in the continent - overall we are satisfied with the level of performance,” said the assistant coach.

“We tried to change things in the second half through substitutions to get a better result and we did get chances to score, but there are days when luck isn’t by your side. We are always trying to improve our side, but this is something that will need time. We need to have some patience with the players but even then, we’re satisfied with the team.”

“We will need to analyse the game and find out where things went wrong for us, each game is different, and we hope we can do well in the next game and get a better result.”

The two sides face off again on Friday, when Sepahan will need a win to keep their chances of progressing to the Round of 16 alive while Al Nassr could potentially secure qualification with a win to join fellow countrymen Al Ahli FC Saudi, the only team who have qualified so far.

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