Bengaluru, August 27: Giuliano headed the winner as Al Nassr earned a 2-1 home victory over Vaxi Hernandez-coached Al Sadd in the AFC Champions League quarterfinal first leg at Riyadh's King Fahd International Stadium on Monday (August 26).
Xavi's side took the lead in the first half when Hassan Al Haydos' miskick fell kindly for Ali Asad to fire into the top-right corner.
The hosts hit back before half-time through Abdulrahman Al-Dossari from a corner and they won it with a well-worked goal in the 72nd minute.
Brazilian Giuliano was the matchwinner, nodding in from close range after being cleverly teed up by Feras Al Birakan to earn a lead ahead of the return leg in three weeks.
FT: Al Nassr FC 🇸🇦 2 - 1 Al Sadd SC 🇶🇦— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) August 26, 2019
From a goal down to winning the match. Can Al Nassr carry this momentum into Doha a few weeks from tonight?
Awaiting a very interesting 2nd leg on 16/09/19. #ACL2019 #NSRvsSDD pic.twitter.com/8DjHKamE2u
The large crowd at the King Fahd International Stadium left pleased with the result, but their task at Doha's Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on September 16 is complicated by Asad's away strike for Al Sadd, a fact emphasises by Xavi in the post-match press conference.
"We lost (this game) but we haven't lost out on progression or on the title. I spoke with the players about that in the dressing room, that there is another match to play in Doha and we have a chance to qualify and that we must fight until the last moment," the Barcelona legend said.