16 May 2018 - 9:48
Bounedjah dedicates win to Al Sadd fans
DOHA: Feared striker Baghdad Bounedjah yesterday praised his team-mates for a ‘job well done’ as Al Sadd celebrated reaching the last-eight stage of the AFC Champions League on Monday.
In Jeddah, Al Sadd drew 2-2 with hosts Al Ahli to complete a 4-3 aggregate win over their fierce rivals. Bounedjah scored two goals as Al Sadd scripted an amazing fight in the two-leg round of 16 battle.
Speaking after the match, Bounedjah said: “Alhamdulillah (thank God) for this win. This match was the final game for us in a tough season during which we did not win any title. And so, it was imperative that we qualified and continued our journey in the AFC Champions League.”
He added: “Al Sadd put up a great show, despite missing many chances in the match, especially in the second half. Al Ahli ended up exhausting themselves in the second half, and after we scored, things were easier.”
“Reaching the quarter-finals is a great thing for us. I am very happy with this achievement and the two goals that I scored in the game. The team deserved to qualify because they played a huge game.”
“We consider this qualification a gift for the Al Sadd fans after ending the season without a title,” he said.
“I want to thank my teammates for their performances in the game and the success that they have achieved.”
Al Sadd head coach Jesualdo Ferreira also praised the efforts of his players.
Speaking to the media after the second leg match, Ferreira said: “We played a great game. I was hoping for the win but I will take this draw, which has taken us to the quarterfinals of the championship.”
Asked if Al Sadd were lucky to go through, considering Al Ahli missed key players, Ferreira said: “This kind of talk is unacceptable because we are missing players too. We have had injured players too; we have missed key players just like Al Ahli and this is how football is. Maybe, even if Al Ahli had played with a full-strength team, they may have not been able to win. End of the day, we were better and we deserve to go through.”
He concluded: “We are very happy with the team’s achievement. I want to thank all the players for the efforts they put in. Congratulations to all of them. We hope fortune will favour us and we can continue on our road of success in Asia.”
Al Sadd won the AFC Champions League title in 2011.