Al Sadd fight back against Al Nassr to reach AFC Champions League semis

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Al Sadd produced a stirring fightback to overcome a first-leg deficit and advance to the AFC Champions League 2019 semi-finals as they beat Al Nassr 3-1 on Monday for a 4-3 aggregate win.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Al Sadd got off to an ideal start in the 26th minute as they took the lead courtesy of an Akram Afif opener.

AFC Champions League 2019: Al Sadd SC 1-0 Al Nassr FC (Akram Afif 26′)

Finding space down the left, Nam Tae-hee floated in a cross that Al Nassr goalkeeper came off his line to deal with but completely missed, leaving Akram Afif with the simple task of diverting the ball into the unguarded net.

However, it looked like the visitors were on course for the semis as they equalised on the night three minutes after the half-hour mark; Abderrazak Hamdallah lining up a freekick on the edge of the box and curling away an effort that took a wicked deflection off the wall past a wrong-footed Saad Al-Sheeb.

AFC Champions League 2019: Al Sadd SC 1-1 Al Nassr FC (Abderrazak Hamdallah 33′)

But, in the 59th minute, the aggregate scores were levelled via a moment of brilliance from Hassan Al-Haydos, who received possession 30 yards from goal and let fly with a speculative drive that rocketed into the back of the net with Jones beaten all ends up.

AFC Champions League 2019: Al Sadd SC 2-1 Al Nassr FC (Hassan Al Haydos 59′)

And, with seven minutes remaining, Al Sadd completed a remarkable comeback when Baghdad Bounedjah converted from the penalty spot – after Akram had been tripped inside the area – to send his side through to the last four 4-3 on aggregate.

AFC Champions League 2019: Al Sadd SC 3-1 Al Nassr FC (Baghdad Bounedjah 83′ Penalty)