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Al Nassr defence delights Menezes, Karimi proud despite Tractor's AFC Champions League exit


Doha: Al Nassr FC head coach Mano Menezes praised his side’s defensive organisation as the Saudi club overcame Islamic Republic of Iran’s Tractor FC 1-0 in the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday.

In the absence of 2020 top scorer Abderrazak Hamdallah for suspension, it was summer signing Vincent Aboubakar who took the Riyadh-based side to the next round with the only goal of the match, a cute dink over the Iranian goalkeeper inside the opening quarter of an hour.

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“We won, but it could have been easier if we did not miss some chances in the first half,” said Menezes.

“We missed the fans today, our tempo was a little lower because we just came out of an international break but the most important thing is that we managed to win and progress to the next round of the competition

“We were okay in the second half, Tractor managed just one shot on target and that was down to how good we were. We are ready to face anyone, and we are afraid of no one.”

2021 AFC Champions League - Round of 16: Al Nassr 1-0 Tractor FC

In turn, Tractor FC coach Firouz Karimi was impressed with his side given their buildup to the Round of 16 tie.

“We went into this game suffering from a lack of preparation,” said Karimi.

“We lost a number of players, did not make any new signings, and played this game with a young squad, some players were as young as 17 or 18 years old but we did a lot better than expected. Al Nassr on the other hand have an extremely good squad, with high value players who are big stars.

“Under the circumstances, we did well.”

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