By Sports Reporter Doha
El Jaish suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Al Nasr in the first leg of their Asian Champions League quarter-final tie yesterday. Wanderley scored a brace for the UAE club as they head into their home tie with a significant advantage.
But despite what the score line suggests, the match wasn’t a one-sided affair. Jaish will be left ruining their defensive horrors and equally, the inability of their strikers to finish off the opportunities.
The match played at the Lekhwiya Stadium began with Al Nasr looking the more composed team and made some threatening forays into the Jaish box. But the Qatari side soon got their rhythm going and were able to create chances of their own. Romarinho had an early attempt but it ended up being a weak shot and then Sardor Rashidov engineered a toe poke that called the Nasr goalkeeper Ahmad Shambih into action.
Nasr got a great chance in the 38th minute when Abdelaziz Barrada got a great cross inside the box but his header was just over the bar. The problem for Jaish was that there was no one marking Barrada. Jaish had two big names up front – in Romarinho and Rashidov but were ragged in defence.
But just when it looked like the two teams would head into the break goalless, a long ball from the deep found Nasr ‘s Jonathan Pitroipa. Jaish keeper Khalifa Ababacar came out to defend but the Nasr midfielder crossed to Wanderley who had an empty net in front of him and he made no mistake. The UAE side had the lead in the 45th minute. Jaish almost got an immediate equaliser when Rashidov crossed to Romarinho inside the box but the Brazilian’s header was saved by Shambih.
Jaish came out of the break rejuvenated and eager to take the fight to their opponents. They also brought on their latest signing, former Barcelona player, Seydou Keita in place of Ahmad Moein to shore up the midfield.
They dominated the initial passage of play and were causing problems for the Nasr defence. Romarinhoeven had his shot blocked by the Nasr keeper. But instead it was the UAE side who doubled their advantage. In the 54th minute, Barrada provided a great pass to Pitroipa who unleashed a shot from the edge of the box and a fully stretched Jaish keeper Ababacar couldn’t save it. The Jaish defence should have been in place to block such long shots.
Jaish stepped up their offence after this goal. And it also looked like Nasr were now content to sit back and defend. This period of play provided a great chance for Jaish to reduce the deficit but their strikers couldn’t convert the chances.
In the 73rd minute Rashidov got a great ball inside the box but his shot was over the bar. Four minutes later, he got another through ball inside the box but it was behind him and he slipped and fell as he tried to reach it.
Jaish were desperate for goals but again it was Nasr who found the back of the net. Substitute Salem Saleh provided the pass into the box for Wanderley and the Brazilian calmly slotted it into the goal. Jaish defence were completely missing since no one seemed to be marking the opposition’s main striker.
In the 89th minute, Keita attempted a header from inside the box only to see it cleared off the line by Ahmed al-Yassi.
Jaish had 47 per cent of the possession, 14 attempts out of which eight were on target but still they will be going into the second leg with a three-goal deficit. They now need to produce something incredible to win this quarter-final.
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