AFC Champions League — Al Rayyan 2 Al Hilal 1
QNB Stars League side Al Rayyan improved their chances of progressing to the knockout stage after beating Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal 2-1 in an AFC Champions League Group D match on Monday.
It was Al Rayyan’s first victory and The Lions have six points.
In front of more than 8,000 cheering spectators at the Al Sadd Stadium where Al Rayyan play their home matches, the hosts got the breakthrough a minute before half-time.
Moroccan spearhead Abderrazaq Hamdallah was brought down in the six-yard box by defender Abdullah Al Zori and the former stepped up and converted from the spot to hand Al Rayyan the lead heading into the break.
Al Hilal had a chance to score the equaliser through Yasser Al Qahtani’s header after the onrushing goalkeeper failed to clear the ball, but Al Qahtani saw his attempt blocked by defender Gonzalo Viera.
While Al Hilal struggled to produce meaningful attacks, Al Rayyan doubled their lead after Hamdallah broke free on the counter and produced a pass to captain Rodrigo Tabata who was afforded too much space and fired a shot at the heart of Ali Al Habsi’s net in the 66th minute to put his side’s victory beyond doubt.
The visitors got their consolation goal in the 90th minute after Ahmed Yasser fouled Achraf Bencharki inside the box and Al Qahtani drove home the resulting penalty kick.
Both teams have away fixtures in the fifth round as Al Hilal face the UAE’s Al Ain, while Al Rayyan travel to Tehran to face Esteghlal.