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ACL2020: Determination propelled Al Shorta to historic victory,  says matchwinner Fayyadh


Doha: Al Shorta matchwinner Mazin Fayyadh said his side went into their match against Al Ahli Saudi FC on Matchday Four of the 2020 AFC Champions League with steely determination to win.

Fayyadh etched his name in Al Shorta's history when he scored the second goal in the 65th minute to steer the Iraqi club to their first-ever AFC Champions League win.

Al Shorta opened the scoring through a header from defender Saad Natiq with Mohammed Al Majhad levelling the tie for the Jeddah-based club in the 56th minute before Fayyadh netted his history-making goal.

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“We faced great difficulties recently as we didn’t play any match in the past six months, but there was great determination from the players and technical staff to win tonight,” said the 23-year-old forward.

“The win was very important for us because it boosts our chances of advancing to the knockout stage.

“We will forget about this victory. We have a final match against Esteghlal and we must prepare very well in order to score another win which will put us in the Round of 16.”

Group A - MD4: Al Shorta 2-1 Al Ahli Saudi FC

Al Ahli Saudi FC veteran defender Hussein Abdulghani (pictured below) also created history by becoming the oldest player ever to feature in an AFC Champions League match, at 43 years 240 days. Abdulghani made his Al Ahli debut in September 1995.

It was an achievement clouded by defeat but Abdulghani admitted Al Shorta deserved to win.

“We wanted to win today but we didn’t play well in the first half. We improved in the second half and scored the equaliser but it was Al Shorta who won.

“The competition is very difficult and reaching the final will not be easy,” said the left-back. “I’m sure that the team that reaches the final from West Asia will have a good chance of winning the title.”

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