A late goal from Baghdad Bounedjah gave Al-Sadd a 1-1 draw with Group D opponents Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia, in their AFC Champions League Matchday 5 clash which was played at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Monday evening.
Khalid Al-Ghannam had put Al-Nassr ahead in the 22nd minute, before Bounedjah equalised for Al-Sadd in the 87th minute. The result sees Al-Sadd remain in second place in Group D with 9 points, behind Al-Nassr who have 11 points.
Al-Sadd started the game slowly, before creating their first chance in the 13th minute. After being set up by Nam Tae-hee, Hassan Al-Haydos tried a shot from the edge of the box but Al-Nassr keeper Brad Jones kept it out for a corner. Khoukhi Boualem also had a go moments later, shooting from distance but Jones was once again able to parry the ball.
At the other end, Al-Nassr started making inroads and Abdulfattah Adam went clear on goal in the 19th minute, only to see his shot kept out by a great save from Saad Al-Dosari, who had raced off his line to meet him.
Three minutes later, however, Saad was beaten. Khalid Al Ghannam sent a low strike from a tight angle, that slipped in past the keeper to give Al-Nassr a 1-0 lead.
After that shock goal, Al-Sadd pressed forward in search of an equaliser but despite their efforts, the first half would end with Al-Nassr carrying the narrow advantage.
At halftime, Xavi Hernandez decided to send on Musaab Khidir in place of Abdelkarim Hassan, while Ahmed Suhail replaced Khoukhi Boualem.
There were few real chances at either end in the second half as well, with the only opportunity of note coming in the 58th minute, when Guilherme sent a powerful shot at goal, only to see it fly over the crossbar.
In the 71st minute, Rodrigo Tabata replaced Hassan Al-Haydos to freshen up Al-Sadd’s attack, while Tarek Salman was also substituted for Yousuf Abdurisag, who played as the right-back while Pedro moved to the centre of the defence.
Going into the final few minutes of the game, the Al-Sadd players pushed forward with urgency and their efforts finally paid off in the 87th minute, when a loose ball fell to Bounedjah at the edge of the box. He made no mistake with his first-time finish that flew in past Jones.
After the equaliser, Bounedjah had another chance late on, as he managed to nudge the ball of a defender in front of goal, but it rolled away and wide of the post. Moments later, the referee signalled for full time, and the Wolves had to be satisfied with a point.
Al-Sadd x Al-Nassr (AFC Champions League 2020 Group D – Matchday 5)
Jassim bin Hamad Stadium
Al-Sadd: Saad Al-Dosari, Pedro Miguel, Tarek Salman (Yusuf Abdurisag), Abdelkarim Hassan (Musaab Khidir), Hassan Al-Haydos (Rodrigo Tabata), Baghdad Bounedjah, Guilherme, Boualem Khoukhi (Ahmed Suhail), Santi Cazorla, Nam Tae-hee, Akram Afif
Brad Jones, Sultan Al-Ghannam, Abdulelah Alamri, Maicon, Abdulmajeed Al-Sulaiheem (Gonzalo Martinez), Mukhtar Ali, Ayman Yahya (Feras Al-Biraikan), Khalid Al-Ghannam (Sami Al-Najei), Awad Khamis, Abdulfattah Adam (Abdulaziz Al-Dosari), Abdulrahman Al-Dossari
Khalid Al-Ghannam 22′
Baghdad Bounedjah 87′
Khalid Al-Ghannam 53′
Baghdad Bounedjah 89′
Masoud Tufaylieh (Main referee)
Ali Ahmad (Assistant referee 1)
Watheq Al-Swaiedi (Assistant referee 2)
Hanna Hattab (Fourth official)