Al-Sadd got back to winning ways in the AFC Champions League with a convincing 4-0 triumph over Al-Ain, in their Matchday 4 clash in Group D, which was held at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Friday evening.
The result sent the Wolves to the top of the group table temporarily with 8 points, awaiting the result of the other game between Al-Nassr and Sepahan. Al-Sadd’s goals came from Baghdad Bounedjah (26′, 70′), Akram Afif (56′) and Rodrigo Tabata (86′).
The match got off to an intense start, with end-to-end action in the early moments of the game. In the 5th minute, Cazorla attempted to send a free kick over the Al-Ain wall, but the ball was deflected out. Al-Ain responded with two back-to-back chances, only to be thwarted by Saad Al-Dosari in the Al-Sadd goal.
In the 24th minute, Nam Tae-hee sent an aerial ball aimed at Baghdad Bounedjah, and the Algerian controlled it with his chest, but his shot went over the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Bounedjah had another chance, and this time, he made no mistake. Mohammed Waad sent a ball over the defence for Bounedjah, and the striker dribbled into the box before finishing with a shot that went in off the post.
Al-Sadd continued to dominate after the goal, but were not able to add to their lead before the whistle for halftime. After the break, however, they struck for a second time, and it was Akram Afif who scored for the second straight game. The reigning Asian Player of the Year ran into the box and converted Bounedjah’s squared ball with a sliding finish, to make it 2-0 in the 56th minute.
Head coach Xavi Hernandez then made his first substitution in the 59th minute, replacing Mohammed Waad with Hassan Al-Haydos.
A third goal arrived in the 70th minute, as Bounedjah found the target once again, following an excellent cross from the left by Santi Cazorla.
Cazorla got another assist for himself in the 86th minute, after setting up substitute Tabata with a pass just outside the box. Tabata took a step to move away from a defender, before finishing with aplomb to complete the scoring and give Al-Sadd a huge 4-0 win.
Al-Sadd x Al-Ain (AFC Champions League 2020 Group D – Matchday 4)
Jassim bin Hamad Stadium
Al-Sadd: Saad Al-Dosari, Pedro Miguel (Tarek Salman), Abdelkarim Hassan, Mohammed Waad (Hassan Al-Haydos), Baghdad Bounedjah (Hashim Ali), Guilherme, Boualem Khoukhi, Santi Cazorla, Nam Tae-hee (Rodrigo Tabata), Akram Afif (Ahmed Sayyar), Musaab Khidir
Al-Ain: Salem Abdullah, Mohammed Ali Shaker, Caio Canedo (Rayan Yaslam), Bauyrzhan Islamkhan (Fahad Hadeed), Kodjo Laba (Mohammed Khalfan), Bandar Al Ahbabi, Ahmed Barman (Yahya Nader), Mohammed Abdulrahman, Khalid Eisa, Wilson Eduardo (Jamal Maroof), Tsukasa Shiotani
Al-Sadd won 4-0
Baghdad Bounedjah 26′, 70′
Akram Afif 56′
Rodrigo Tabata 86′
Kodjo Laba 40′
Mohammed Ali Shaker 54′
Mohammed Amirul (Main referee)
Mohammed Yusri (Assistant referee 1)
Abdul Hannan bin Abdul Hasim (Assistant referee 2)
Sivakorn Pu-udom (Fourth official)