Al-Sadd exited the 2020 AFC Champions League after losing 1-0 to Persepolis in the Round of 16 clash which was held at the Education City Stadium on Sunday.
Issa Alkasir scored the lone goal of the game in the 88th minute.
The game got off to a calm start with no real chances until the 13th minute, when Santi Cazorla’s powerful left-footed shot was kept out by the Persepolis keeper Hamed Lak.
At the other end, Persepolis had a big opportunity, with Bashar Resan trying a shot from inside the box but Tarek Salman blocked it by sliding into its way. Vahid Amiri then had a go, only to see his attempt miss the target.
In the 33rd minute, Abdelkarim sent in a great low cross aimed at Bounedjah, but the Persepolis keeper was able to grab the ball before it reached the Algerian international. The first half went on to end in a goalless stalemate.
Al-Sadd emerged after the break without making any changes, and looked to translate their superiority on the pitch into goals.
In the 55th minute, Abdelkarim tried a shot from just outside the box but it was too high, sailing over the crossbar. A few minutes later, Cazorla floated in a free-kick, and the ball deflected and fell right in front of the unmarked Akram Afif, but his shot flew over as well.
Al-Sadd were then saved by the crossbar in the 62nd minute, when Alkasir’s shot hit the crossbar and went out.
Xavi Hernandez made his first change in the 66th minute, sending on Hassan Al-Haydos in place of Mohammeed Waad, as he looked to freshen up the attack. Al-Haydos got involved immediately, and set up Pedro for a run into the box but the right-back was brought down. The referee waved play on, despite the Al-Sadd players appealing for a penalty.
Persepolis then had a golden opportunity through a quick counter a minute later, but once again Alkasir saw his attempt come back off the crossbar.
In the 75th minute, Afif set up teed up Nam Tae-hee nicely for a shot on the edge of the box; however, the South Korean’s shot was saved by Lak in the Persepolis goal.
Finally, Al-Sadd were dealt a huge late blow after Alkasir headed in following a corner in the 88th minute. Despite the team’s best efforts in the remaining period, including five minutes of stoppage time, they were unable to equalise and ended up losing 1-0.
Al-Sadd x Persepolis (AFC Champions League Round of 16)
Edcuation City Stadium
Al-Sadd: Saad Al Sheeb, Boualem Khoukhi, Abdelkarim Hassan, Pedro Miguel, Santi Cazorla, Nam Tae-hee (Rodrigo Tabata), Guilherme, Tarek Salman (Musaab Khidir), Mohammed Waad (Hassan Al-Haydos), Baghdad Bounedjah, Akram Afif
Persepolis: Hamed Lak, Shojae Khalilzadeh, Hossein Kanani, Bashar Resan (Omid Alishah), Saeid Aghaei, Vahid Amiri, Siamak Nemati, Ahmad Nourollahi, Ehsan Pahlevan (Mehdi Abdi), Milad Sarlak (Kamal Kamyabinia), Issa Alkasir (Seyed Jalal Hosseini)
Persepolis won 1-0
Issa Alkasir 88′
Vahid Amiri 64′
Milad Sarlak 81′
Issa Alkasir 89′
Siamak Nemati 90+1′ (Red card)
Baghdad Bounedjah 90+1′
Ko Hyung-Jin (Main referee)
Yoon Kwang-Yeol (Assistant 1)
Park Sang-Jun (Assistant 2)
Kim Dae-Young (Fourth official)