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Al Duhail’s Lamouchi disappointed, Al Ahli Saudi's Reghecampf looks at positives after AFC Champions League exit


Jeddah: Head coach Sabri Lamouchi was left disappointed after Al Duhail SC failed to advance to the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 following a 1-1 draw with Al Ahli Saudi FC in Group C on Friday.

Michael Olunga scored his ninth goal of the tournament to give Qatar's Al Duhail the lead just after the hour mark but Al Ahli Saudi leveled the tie through Haitham Asiri with less than 20 minutes to go.

The result meant both teams failed to advance, with Islamic Republic of Iran's Esteghlal FC winning the group.

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Lamouchi revealed that he had demanded concentration from his players to secure qualification but minor errors contributed to their early exit.

“I’m not happy. I told the players to calm down and focus because we were looking to qualify at the end of the day,” said Lamouchi.

2021 AFC Champions League: Al Duhail SC 1-1 Al Ahli Saudi FC

“We deserved to win tonight because we created plenty of chances but this alone is not enough to achieve positive results. We unfortunately missed a penalty but I want to thank the players for their hard work."

Having given Al Duhail the lead, Olunga had the opportunity to double their advantage in the 63rd minute but his spot-kick cannoned off the crossbar.

“We had a good start in the competition, especially in the first three matches but then we lost points. We will have to assess our performance as small details were the reason for our early exit.”

Al Ahli Saudi head coach Laurentiu Reghecampf admitted that it was a difficult match for the two teams, saying his team will have to carry their positive performances into the Saudi Pro League season.

“The match was difficult and both sides performed strongly. I congratulate the players, not only for this match but throughout the competition,” Reghecampf said.

“We now have to look ahead and try to improve. We achieved positive results in the AFC Champions League and we must reflect this in our domestic campaign.

“I took charge of the team before the tournament and I didn’t have enough time but now I know the players well and I have a good family."

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