AFC Champions League — Al Sadd 4 Nasaf 0 


Qatar’s Al Sadd made a giant leap towards the knockout stage of AFC Champions League with a 4-0 home win over Uzbekistan’s Nasaf in their fourth-round Group C game on Tuesday.

At the Al Sadd Stadium, the hosts went ahead as early as the third minute through midfield superstar Xavi Hernandez who diverted in Boualem Khoukhi’s cross to score his first-ever AFC Champions League goal.

Al Sadd doubled their lead in the 16th minute and this time it was a defender who got on the scoresheet. Full-back Abdelkarim Hassan finished off a surging solo run from the halfway line with a fierce strike that left Nasaf goalkeeper Sanjar Kuvvatov with no chance of saving.

Baghdad Bounedjah made it 3-0 by netting his fifth goal of the tournament with an acrobatic overhead kick in the 43rd minute.

Fellow Algerian Jugurtha Hamroun, who had provided the assist for Bounedjah, got a goal of his own in the 71st, smashing in a low shot past Kuvvatov to round off a quick counter-attack.

The big win sends Al Sadd to the top of the group with nine points from four games and left them with a good chance of progressing.

In the fifth round, Al Sadd host the UAE’s Al Wasl, while Nasaf welcome Iran’s Persepolis.