Al Duhail’s Lamouchi, Esteghlal’s Majedi praise players’ efforts after AFC Champions League test

Al Duhail SC head coach Sabri Lamouchi labeled his side’s 2021 AFC Champions League Group C draw with Esteghlal FC on Saturday as “yet another crazy match.”

In a thoroughly entertaining encounter, Kenyan forward Michael Olunga’s brace for Al Duhail was cancelled out by Cheick Diabate and Mehdi Ghaedi of the Islamic Republic of Iran side as the draw followed the Qatari team’s exciting 4-3 win on Matchday Three.

The result meant Al Duhail remain unbeaten after four games, topping Group C with eight points, while Esteghlal continue to chase with seven points to their name, level with Al Ahli Saudi FC. Matchday Five sees Al Duhail facing Iraq’s Al Shorta while Esteghlal clash with Al Ahli on Tuesday.

“Another match which I call crazy,” said Lamouchi. “It might not have been like the previous one in terms of chances and goals but it was a big and exciting match.

“We controlled the match very well and after we took the lead, I thought that we were going to get the three points. However, we made mistakes and this happens in football.”

“The players were tired and we saw fatigue showing at the end of the match,” added the Frenchman. “Playing four matches in 10 days requires a lot of effort management under this physical pressure.

“We should be happy now that there is big competition between three teams in the group. Al Ahli managed to reduce the deficit so we should see interesting matches in the last two rounds.”

Esteghlal FC assistant coach Farshad Majedi praised the performance of his players, who he said played against “the best team in the group.”

“Our players played with dedication,” said Majedi. “Due to the short period between matches, quality drops and injuries become more likely.”

“Al Duhail are a strong team, they have international experience and they are having good results. I believe we played against the best team in the group.

“We lost some players due injuries, including Cheick Diabate who had to leave the match, and we played with 10 men at the end,” said Majedi.

“We made several changes to the plan because of this. At the end, we got one point although we were hoping to get three.”


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