Three-star Al Sadd crush Hienghene Sport in extra time to face Monterrey

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Goals by Abdelkarim Hassan and Pedro Miguel in extra time last night powered Al Sadd to a commanding 3-1 win over Oceania champions Hienghene Sport in the opening clash of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.

Hassan scored off an indirect free kick inside the box in the 100th minute while Miguel found the net in the 114th as Hienghene Sport survived a brutal attack examination from the 2011 Asian champions.

Al Sadd strikers Akram Afif and Baghdad Bounedjah missed at least three easy chances in the last five minutes of regular time after both sides had scored a goal each in a highly entertaining clash under lights as Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium. 

Xavi’s side will next meet CONCACAF champions Monterrey on Saturday, with the winners set to seal mouth-watering semi-final with European champions Liverpool.   

It was the same story in the extra time also as keeper Rocky Nyikeine produced a scintillating performance under pressure to thwart the attacks of Bounedjah and Afif.

Earlier, Bounedjah opened the scoring for Al Sadd in the 26th minute before Amy Roine (46) pulled off the equaliser just before the end of the first half.

Abdelkarim Hassan (third right) celebrates after scoring their second goal.

The home side launched the proceedings on a brisk note but without national team skipper and Al Sadd favourite Hassan Al Haydos.

In the 9th minute of the opening CWC clash, Hienghene Sport forward Jefferson Dahite - given chase by Hassan - hit the outside of the net from close range with only home keeper Saad Al Sheeb to beat.
A minute later Al Sadd defender Miguel clipped a lob towards striker Bounedjah who also hit the ball long much to the disappointment of the home fans.

Miguel, a minute on, found Bounedjah close to the Hienghene Sport box but his dribbles past two players were met with a solid block by a defender. Seconds later, Bounedjah opted for a long-range shot that was easily picked up by keeper Nyikeine.

In the 19th minute, Roine - shadowed by Al Sadd’s Miguel - attempted a spectacular bicycle kick but Al Sadd keeper Al Sheeb produced a full length dive towards his right to kill the threatening move.

Seconds later Bounedjah found Afif who returned a lob toward the feared Algerian striker was eventually declared off-side.

Roine, once again shadowed by Miguel, found a long-range lob aimed towards him but the Hienghene Sports star failed to find the angle on his shot.

Pedro Miguel celebrates after scoring Al Sadd’s third goal.

In the 25th minute, Xavi benched injured forward Abdulaziz Ansari and brought on Al Haydos - celebrating his 29th birthday - to beef up his attacks. Seconds later, Hienghene Sport captain Bertrand Kai found Ronie, 27, inside the Al Sadd box but the diminutive striker could not outpace his marker Miguel.

In the 27th minute, Al Sadd grabbed the lead with a classic cross from Hassan on the flank towards Bounedjah. Measuring his run to perfection, Bounedjah - almost unmarked - flicked the ball past keeper Nyikeine on the volley.

At the half-hour mark, 2018 Asian Player of the Year Hassan found Al Haydos with near-perfect cross. Al Haydos, lurking inside the visitor’s box, failed to deflect from close range after fumbling with his run.

Roine, a major threat to Al Sadd with his feisty runs, nearly pulled off an equaliser but his snap-header from inside the Al Sadd box missed target in the 33rd minute. Two minutes later, Al Sadd’s Afif hoodwinked one marker and slipped in a neat ball to unmarked Al Haydos who could not find power with his left-footed drive.

In the 39th minute, Al Sadd found the net again up as Afif completed a messy stop by keeper Nyikeine. Al Sadd’s Bualem Khouki curled in a beautiful free-kick. Afif picked up the rebound but his goal was disallowed after the referee watched the replay on a VAR decision that ruled Bounedjah was offside.

In injury time, Bounedjah found Khoukhi with a long cross but the snap-header from close range was easily grabbed by the keeper.

A few seconds into the second half saw Hienghene Sport produced an equaliser through Roine who hoodwinked Khouki - who tripped - before slipping the ball past Al Sheeb. Algerian referee Mustaphe Ghorbal reviewed the seemingly innocuous push by Roine on VAR and allowed the goal to stay.

In the 52nd minute, Miguel found Khoukhi with a long lob but the latter’s snap-header went over the crossbar without causing any alarms. 

Just before the hour mark, Al Haydos clipped a cross but Afif - just a few meters from the goalline - misfired with his left-footed drive.

In the 64th minute, Al Sadd skipper Gabi clipped a ball towards keeper Nyikeine who could only manage a weak stop. The ball deflected off the keeper’s hand and hit the far post and trickled away.

In the 66th minute, Al Sadd scored through Al Haydos - who picked up a rebound from Bounedjah and smashed a powerful shot past Nyikeine. But the goal was disallowed after another review as Nam Tae-hee was declared offside.

In the 84th minute, a cheeky snap-header from close range by Afif was blocked by Joseph Athale with his left knee after keeper was completely beaten by the flight of the ball.

In the 100th minute, Hassan converted an easy shot into the goal following a clumsy gaffe by keeper Nyikeine inside the box where he picked up a pass by his own defender. The referee awarded an indirect free kick  which Hassan converted with a powerful left-footed drive.

Nine minutes from time, Bounedjah hit the crossbar with Hienghene Sport keeper completely beaten. Three minutes later, Miguel - on a cross from Al Haydos - fired a bullet to give the home side a 3-1 cushion.

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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