Abdulkarim Hassan (left) of Qatar’s Al Sadd fights for the ball with Yasir Al-Shahrnai of Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal during their AFC Champions League match in Doha, yesterday.
Doha: Nadir Belhadj scored his third goal in three consecutive AFC Champions League games to salvage a point for Al Sadd as the former champions shared an enthralling 2-2 draw with Saudi Arabian giants Al Hilal yesterday.
Talal Al Bloushi had put the home side in front on 25 minutes only to see a world class strike from Thiago Neves draw the sides level with virtually the final kick of the first half.
The Brazilian then added a second to put the visitors in front on 56 minutes before Belhadj struck the equaliser five minutes past the hour mark.
The Algerian’s goal keeps the Qatari side on top of Group D by virtue of superior goal difference after Emirati side Al Ahli joined them on five points after their win over Sepahan in Iran.
Meanwhile, Eljaish of Qatar drew level with Iran’s Foolad Khouzestan on points and goal difference at the top of Group B in the AFC Champions League after playing out a goalless stalemate yesterday with tournament newcomers Al Fateh of Saudi Arabia.
In a game of few chances at Prince Abdullah Bin Jalawi Stadium, it was the visitors who went closes to breaking the deadlock as Jires Kembo-Ekoko saw his effort from distance slam against the woodwork early in the second half.
It was the second draw of the competition for both clubs, but while Eljaish are in a handy position to reach the knockout stage after joining Foolad on five points, Al Fateh remained at the bottom of the table with no goals scored and only two points from their first three games.
There were precious few chances in a first half largely dominated by physical challenges on both sides.Agencies