AFC: Al Sadd fights back to level Foolad in a tight opener

  • 1 year ago
Boualem Khoukhi scored a significant goal in the 89th minute as Al Sadd fought back to level Iran’s Foolad Khouzestan 1-1 in Group D of the 2021 AFC Champions League at the King Fahd Stadium on Wednesday.
It was devastating at the end for Iran side Foolad, and their fans who looking forward to have marked a famous win against the Qatar Super League champions.
Al Sadd kick-started firmly by holding Foolad into their own half, but the Iranian side were able to come back gradually and pushed the Qataris further backwards, setting up the game for a gripping draw.
The Qatar Stars League champions Al Sadd made multiple inroads into the final third with Rodrigo Tabata testing Foolad goalkeeper Mohsen Foroozan with a long-distance shot during the 20th minute of the game.
Foolad did have their amazing moments but Brazilian striker Chimba, who scored two goals against Al Ain in the playoff, was unable to have an early influence on the proceedings.
Foolad came closest in the 38th minute when Zobeir Niknafs let loose a strike from outside the box but Al Sadd custodian Meshaal Barsham tipped the ball over the bar.
The deadlock continued well into the second half but with a noticeable change in Foolad’s approach, who were now on the front foot.
Their aggression paid off in the 61st minute of the match as Mehran Derakshan provided a curling cross into the box which Boualem Khoukhi cleared but a prowling Chimba rose high to head home to hand Foolad the lead.
Al Sadd immediately shifted gears and came close 10 minutes later when a string of passes led to substitute Ali Asad on goal but unfortunately the midfielder was called offside.
Iran’s Foolad were reminded not to underestimate Al Sadd’s capadility to make a huge comeback with Khoukhi testing goalkeeper Foroozan with his free-kick in the 81st minute of the game, but he would not miss seven minutes later when he found the back of the net with his strike from inside the box, with Baghdad Bounedjah picking up the assist.
Al Sadd is now gearing up to take on the hosts Al Nassr coming Saturday, while Foolad will go head to head with Al Wehdat.