Doha, 18 February 2023 - Al Duhail face Al Rayyan in Round of 16 of the 2022 AFC Champions League at the Al Thumama Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023.
The Qatar Football Association is hosting the Round of 16, quarterfinal and semifinal matches of West Asia region. Round of 16 matches will be held on Feb. 19 and 20, quarterfinals on Feb. 23 and semifinals on Feb. 26.
The battle between Al Duhail and Al Rayyan is expected to be exciting, given that both teams are in good form, having won in in the 2022-2023 season QNB Stars Leagues Week 14, where Al Duhail beat Al Markhiya 3-1 and Al Rayyan defeated Al Ahli 4-0.
Al Duhail and Al Rayyan faced off in this seasons league championship in Week 3 on August 16, 2022, at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium and Al Duhail managed to win the match by a 2-1 margin.
Al Duhail are leading the QNB Stars League standings with 32 points from 13 matches, while Al Rayyan are in ninth place with 11 points. But despite the difference in the standings, it is not possible to predict which team will advance to the quarterfinals and it is likely to be an open match.
Al Duhail were the runaway winners in Group D, registering five victories to finish eight points ahead of Saudi Arabias Al Taawoun.
Al Duhail lost one match. They scored 17 goals and conceded nine. The group also included Irans Sepahan and Uzbekistans Pakhtakor.
Al Duhail will be on a mission to progress, having been eliminated in the group stage of the 2020 and 2021 seasons and will head into the Round of 16 in good form.
They have the likes of Edmilson Junior, the top scorer in the competition with eight goals, Michael Olunga, who scored four goals, Ferjani Sassi, Almoez Ali and Ismail Mohammed.
Under Argentinian coach Hernan Crespo, Al Duhail hope to go far in the Champions League this year. It may be noted that this is Al Duhail’s 11th participation in the AFC Champions League and their most prominent achievement in it was reaching the quarterfinals three times (2013, 2015 and 2018).
Al Rayyan's domestic form, however, pales in comparison to Al Duhail’s but that should not stop them from challenging Al Duhail, especially after booking an inaugural appearance in the AFC Champions League Round of 16 following a runners-up finish in Group A.
In their sixth consecutive and 15th participation in the tournament, in its old and new formats, Al Rayyan made it past the group stage only this time.
The Lions presented remarkable levels in the AFC Champions League and that helped them make the cut behind Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia on goal difference after they both were tied on 13 points.
Sharjah FC and Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol were the other teams in the group. Al Rayyan recorded four wins, one draw and a defeat. They scored 10 goals and conceded seven.
Many players stand out in the ranks of Al Rayyan, including Ivorian Yohan Boli, the team’s top scorer in the tournament with four goals, Steven Nzonzi, Abdulaziz Hatem and Osama Al Tairi, and this winter’s additions Moroccan Sofiane Boufal, Chilean Jason Vargas and Japanese defender Shogo Taniguchi, all whom Chilean coach Nicholas Cordova will rely on.