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Xavi ecstatic as Al Sadd stay on course in AFC Champions League


Riyadh: Al Sadd head coach Xavi was thrilled after his side beat Al Wehdat 2-0 to stay in sight of the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16. 

Goals by Santi Cazorla and Ali Asad powered Al Sadd to their second win in Group D, placing them second with seven points, one behind leaders Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia.

Al Sadd will now set their sights on Foolad Khouzestan FC of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Monday, where another three points will set them up nicely for the group finale against Al Nassr three days later.

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“I am happy because we got the three points, against a very good team,” said Xavi. “I have to congratulate them ‘cause they played really well, aggressive and organised in defence.

“We dominated many parts of the game, and when you score first, it’s much easier to win. We suffered a little bit in the second half with their corners and crosses but I’m happy because we won a difficult game.

“The three points are very important for us, and now that we’re second in the group, we are in the race. I’m happy with the performance of the team to win two games in a row against the same team.”

2021 AFC Champions League: Al Wehdat 0-2 Al Sadd C

The legendary Spaniard also praised his budding players Yusuf Abdurisag and Ali Sad, for their exceptional performance.

“We have a good squad with young and talented players like Yusuf. He didn’t only help in the second goal but how he played defensively and for the team. I’m happy for the team.”

Nam Tae-hee, named Player of the Match, said team effort led the team to the convincing win.

“It was a very tough game but I’m happy with the three points. The next game will be another final and we have to be ready and work hard together.

“I just tried to do my best to help the team, and today I think our whole team deserved to be the best player. We had a difficult game but we played together, defended together and attacked together.”

The defeat means Al Wehdat have no chance of advancing but head coach Abdullah Abu Zema is satisfied with how his charges have performed and will use their final two matches to gain experience.

“Al Sadd deserved the victory,” said Zema. “If we had 10 more minutes, we could have at least secured a draw.

“I am very satisfied as a coach, especially with the team’s gradual improvement. We are hoping to change this negative result into a positive thing, as the Jordanian season has yet to begin, we are taking this as a preparation stage for the future.”

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