AFC Champions League: Al Rayyan fail to advance into Round of 16

AFC Champions League: Al Rayyan fail to advance into Round of 16

DOHA: Al Rayyan ended their disappointing campaign at the 2019 AFC Champions League with a 2-0 defeat against Al Ittihad here on Tuesday evening.

The Saudi side, who progressed to the Round of 16, had humiliated Rayyan 5-1 in their opening match of the tournament and, the former continued with their supremacy in the match that failed to produce any goals in the first half.

But the visitors came out with flying colours when the stabbed home two quick goals in the space of five minutes at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.  

Nasir Al Shamrani opened the scoring in the 62nd minute followed by former El Jaish striker Romarino’s strike five minutes later.

Rayyan completed their Group B engagements with just three points from five matches while Ittihad (10 points) qualified along with UAE's Al Wahda (12 points). 

“I am delighted with the performance of the young players. We could’ve progressed with a goal when Abdulaziz (Al Hasia) was off guard,” said Rayyan coach Gilson de Souza, whose side needed a win to stand a chance of grabbing one of the two Round-of-16 tickets.

Soon after Abdulaziz failed to beat Ittihad defence seven minutes into the match, Al Shamrani stabbed Abdullah Al Amar’s cross wide off target.

Ittihad made some frantic efforts for success, but thanks to some excellent works in the Rayyan backline by keeper Fahad Younis that kept the visitors in check.

In fact, Fahad’s acrobatism denied Al Shamrani early on after the latter’s outside-of-the-boot finish was tipped by using his leg.

Rayyan also had their share of creating opportunities when Al Hasia drilled an effort from a narrow angle that was saved by Al Ittihad goalkeeper Fawaz Al Qarni.

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