Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Baghdad Bounedjah and Hassan Al Haydos were on target as Al Sadd opened their AFC Champions League campaign in Group D with 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr at the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Stadium in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The two teams had met in the quarterfinals of the last edition, with the first leg ending in a 2-1 home victory for Al Nassr.
The hosts romped to a quick start, taking the lead inside seven minutes through Abderazzaq Hamdallah. The Moroccan striker found space inside the Al Sadd box to receive Yahya Al Shehri’s through pass and convert into the back of the net.
Al Nassr's lead lasted just two minutes as Bounedjah struck the equalizer for Al Sadd in the ninth minute. The Algerian beat his marker and connected with Pedro Miguel’s low cross from the right to restore parity.
The scenario was repeated in the second half with both teams finding the net in the first ten minutes. This time, however, it was Al Sadd who scored first.
Miguel intercepted Al Shehri’s attempted long pass inside Al Nassr’s half and supplied and overhead pass to skipper Hassan Al Haydos who cut into his left foot and coolly slotted past Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones in the 48th minute.
Five minutes later, Al Nassr left-back Abdulrahman Al Obeid pounced on a poor defensive clearance to unleash a powerful drive into the top corner, bringing the game level again.
The result means Sepahan top the group, following their emphatic 4-0 away victory against Al Ain who find themselves bottom, while Al Sadd take second place ahead of Al Nassr with both teams collecting a point from their first match.
Al Nassr travel to Al Ain for their Matchday Two fixture, while Al Sadd entertain Sepahan at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium next week.