Visit IAAF special preview page
Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
Visit IAAF special preview page
Visit IAAF special preview page

Bounedjah hails ‘total team effort’

Al Sadd’s Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah gives credit to players, coach and support staff for the team’s progress into last eight.
Vino6553 2
Baghdad Bounedjah IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

There was lot of excitement ahead of the AFC Champions League pre-quarterfinal second leg match between Al Sadd and Duhail SC on Tuesday, and the contest lived up to its top billing.

Although Sadd ran out 3-1 winners (4-2 on aggregate) in front of a vociferous home crowd, it was anything but easy for them.

The home side’s star Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah said it was one of the difficult matches he had played.

“It was one of the toughest games I’ve played in Sadd’s colours. Duhail kept pressing forward even after we went ahead by two goals. Only after we put in the third did I start believing we had the match in our pocket,” he said.

“It was a total team effort. The coach, backroom staff, players and even the crowd played their parts beautifully,” he added.

The Algerian said he was looking forward to meeting Duhail again as the teams are scheduled to fight it out for the local season-opening Sheikh Jassim Cup on August 17.

“We’ll meet them again this Saturday and I’m looking forward to the rematch,” he said.

Edmilson Junior, who pulled one back for Duhail, said his team put in their best effort.

“We gave our best. Despite trailing by two goals, we knew we were still in with a chance. But the third goal ended our hopes. We dominated the first 15 minutes, but couldn’t press home the advantage,” said the striker.

His team-mate Ismail Mohamad was gracious in defeat.

“We lost to a great team after a tough match. I congratulate Sadd on their win. I’m really happy that there’s still a Qatari team in the Asian competition. I wish them luck in the matches ahead,” he said.