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Vitoria hails Al Nassr, Al Sadd's Xavi braced for tough campaign


Jeddah: Al Nassr head coach Rui Vitoria praised the performance of his team and opponents Al Sadd SC after their 2-2 draw in a 2020 AFC Champions League Group D match on Tuesday.

The entertaining clash saw four goals as Al Nassr scored through Abderazzaq Hamdalla and Abdulrahman Al Obeid while Al Sadd's goals came through Baghdad Bounedjah and Hassan Al Haydos.

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The Portuguese coach lauded the performance of the two teams and said his side had to put in a lot of physical and mental effort in order to keep up with the tempo of the match.

“It was a great match and the two teams had great courage,” said Vitoria. “In the second half, the tempo became high and it required big physical and mental efforts from our players.”

Group D - MD1: Al Nassr 2-2 Al Sadd SC

“The pitch conditions affected the rhythm of the play,” he added. “Things could have been better had we played on a better pitch.

“I’m really proud with the performance of the players,” said the 49-year-old coach. “We could have won had we taken advantage of our chances but the match was so quick and it was of high quality.”

Al Sadd SC head coach Xavi Hernandez said the draw was a fair result and the fans at the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Stadium had enjoyed the performance.

“It was a fair result for the two teams,” said Xavi. “Everyone enjoyed the performance and I was happy with the effort and mentality of my players.

“It was a good away point as we played a team with excellent players,” he added. “We missed couple of players due to injury and suspension but this shouldn’t be an excuse for us.”

The former Spain international midfielder said his team must fight in order to advance from the strong group after the Matchday One results.

“Our group is very hard as Sepahan scored a big (4-0) away victory against Al Ain,” he said. “The strength of Al Nassr was also clear and we must give our best in order to qualify from the group.”

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