Doha, 12 April 2021 - The reigning QNB Stars League champions Al Sadd and second placed Al Duhail yesterday left for Saudi Arabia where they will begin the group stage campaigns of the AFC Champions League.
The Al Sadd left for Riyadh, where they will join their Group D counterparts Al Nassr (Saudi Arabia), Al Wehdat (Jordan), and Foolad FC (Iran). The Al Sadd delegation includes members of the technical and administrative staff as well as 24 players and is headed by Turki Al Ali, the club’s general manager.
The team held their last training session in Doha on Saturday, after the 3-0 win over Qatar SC, in the 22nd and last round of the QNB Stars League. The Wolves recorded 19 victories and three draws to end on 60 points and completed a dominant run to finish the league undefeated.
Al Sadd’s feared striker Baghdad Bounedjah was the top scorer with 21 goals. The Wolves finished 13 points clear of Al Duhail. Akram Afif, the 2019 Asian Player of the Year, will not be joining the squad as he is still recovering from a muscle injury. Meanwhile, in Jeddah, Al Duhail will join Group C rivals hosts Al Ahli Saudi FC, Iran Pro League giants Esteghlal FC and Iraqi powerhouse Al Shorta. Al Duhail's delegation is headed by Faraj Al Marri, Sports Director and includes 21 players.
Al Duhail, one of the most successful clubs in Qatar, will begin their Champions League campaign next Thursday against Al Shorta at 8:45 pm. While in Jeddah, Al Duhail play their matches at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, known as the Jewel in the crown of Saudi Arabia’s sporting venues. Meanwhile, yesterday, Al Rayyan left for Goa, India where they will play their Group E matches. Group E action will kick off on Wednesday with Iran's Persepolis FC facing Al Wahda FSCC of UAE.
Al Rayyan will start their campaign against hosts FC Goa on the same day at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. In the AFC Champions League's expanded format of 40 teams playing in 10 groups, group leaders in addition to the top six runners-up will qualify for the Round of 16.
AL SADD SQUAD Saad Al Dossari, Meshaal Barsham, Jehad Muhammad, Yousuf Al Balushi, Ahmed Sayyar, Pedro Miguel, Hassan Al Haydos, Nam Tae-hee, Muhammad Waad, Khoukhi Boualem, Guilherme Torres, Rodrigo Tabata, Baghdad Bounedjah, Salem Al Hajri, Tarek Salman, Yousuf Abdurisag, Hussam Kamal, Musab Khidir, Ahmed Suhail, Bahaa Al Laithi, Hashem Ali, Abdelkarim Hassan, Santi Cazorla, Ali Asad Coach: Xavi Hernandez
AL DUHAIL SQUAD Khalifa Abu Bakr, Muhammad Al Bakri, Salah Zakaria, Ismail Muhammad, Ali Mal Allah, Muhammad Musa, Mahdi bin Attia, Ahmed Yasser, Bassam Al Rawi, Ali Afif, Sultan Al Brik, Louise Martin Karim Boudhaif, Ali Karimi, Jassim Al Muhairi, Abdullah Abd Al Salam, Khaled Muhammad Saleh, Edmilson Junior, Michael Olunga, AlMoez Ali and Muhammad Muntari Coach: Sabri Lamouchi.