Football: 10-man Al Jazira lose at home to Lekhwiya
Al Jazira's Park Jongwoo vies for the ball with Luiz Junior of Lekhwiya SC (Qatar) during their AFC Champions League match at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Ryan Lim)
Abu Dhabi - Al Jazira's miserable run in the AFC Champions League continue
Veteran defender Fares Juma was sent off as Al Jazira's miserable run in the AFC Champions League continued with a 3-1 loss against Qatari side Lekhwiya at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday night.
Despite being eliminated from Group B, Al Jazira had to play for an important virtue - pride but failed. They hadn't won in this competition for seasons and sparse attendance for the match was indicative of dejected fans.
In the first half, Lekhwiya started well with strikers Youssef El Arabi and Mohammed Muntari, and midfielder Nam Tae-hee posing problems for Al Jazira keeper Ali Khaseif but it was Al Jazira who went ahead against the run of play.
Lekhwiya defender Chico Flores was booked for bringing down midfielder Khalfan Mubarak and Al Jazira midfielder Mbark Boussoufa converted in the 18th minute to give the Abu Dhabi side the lead.
But just nine minutes later, the Qatari club reduced the deficit from a penalty. Lekhwiya forward Youssef El Arabi went down after getting sandwiched between defenders Fares Juma and Musallem Fayez. The referee booked Fayez and awarded Lekhwiya the penalty kick. And South Korean midfielder Nam Tae-hee coolly deposited the ball into the right corner of the net.
Both teams continued to attack an an athletic Al Jazira keeper Ali Khaseif dived to his right to parry striker Ismail Mohamad's powerful volley. Minutes later, Al Jazira were unlucky not to have scored again as striker Ahmed Al Attas, with time and space, could only find the right post. Al Jazira sorely missed the service of ace striker Ali Ahmed Mabkhout, who was injured.
After the break, Al Jazira coach Henk ten Cate made an attacking change by bringing on Brazilian striker Ailton Almeida for midfielder Salem Abdullah. But as they set up attacks, Al Jazira missed opportunities due to loose passes. Ahmed Al Attas had an easy chance but again hit the woodwork. Al Jazira got punished for missed opportunities as Nam Tae-hee converted at the other end. Al Jazira's misery piled on as Fares Juma was shown a straight red for bringing down a goal-bound Ismail Mohammad.
Soon, it became 3-1 as Youssef Msakni scored through a fine cross from Ismail Mohammad.
In reply, Almeida missed two clear chances to net and it was a night of squandered opportunities for Al Jazira.