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AFC Champions League: Al Nassr, Al Ittihad reach quarters

Abderazak Hamdallah

Bengaluru, August 13: Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr battled their way into the quarterfinals of the AFC Champions League after a 3-2 win over the UAE's Al Wahda secured a 4-3 aggregate victory at Abu Dhabi's Al Nahyan Stadium.

The home side held a slight advantage on away goals heading into the second leg at Al Nahyan Stadium and were further in control of the tie once Mohamed Al Menhali converted Leonardo's cross 27 minutes in.

Al Nassr turned things around with two goals in four minutes before the interval, Abderazak Hamdallah heading in before teeing up Giuliano to make it 2-1 on the night.

Giuliano grabbed his second 62 minutes in after Hamed Al-Mansour was denied by Al Wahda goalkeeper Mohamed Al Shamsi, effectively securing Al Nassr's progress to the last eight.

Sebastian Tagliabue deflected Tahnoon Al Zaabi's strike into the net to give Al Wahda some hope, but Rui Vitoria's side held firm to set up a meeting with winner of the all-Qatari round-of-16 match between Al Sadd and Al Duhail at Doha's Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday (August 13).

In a later game in Doha's Grand Hamad, Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad survived a seven-goal thriller to beat Iran's Zob Ahan 6-4 on aggregate and progress to the last eight.

Leading 2-1 from the first leg, Emiliano Vecchio's strike in first-half stoppage time put the Saudi side in command.

An own goal from Luis Jimenez drew Zob Ahan level in the match, but Mohammad Bagher Sadeghi put through his own net within a minute to hand the initiative back to the visitors.

Romarinho struck twice within six minutes to kill the tie, although Hadi Mohammadi headed in from close range and Macauley Chrisantus buried a rebound from a Fawaz Al Qarni save to set up something of a nervy finish.

Al Ittihad will meet the winners of Al Hilal and Al Ahli in an all-Saudi Arabia quarterfinal.

(With OPTA inputs)

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Story first published: Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 3:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 13, 2019
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