(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Al Sadd, currently taking part in a pre-season training camp in Olot, Spain, yesterday welcomed back their star striker Baghdad Bounedjah.
The Algerian goal machine who was away on national duty, was instrumental in his country's Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title victory.
Bounedjah's early goal propelled his country to their first AFCON title in 29 years as Algeria registered a fiery 1-0 victory over Sadio Mane's Senegal in the final played in Cairo, Egypt few days ago.
Al Sadd's coaching staff, led by their former skipper and Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez and players congratulated Bounedjah on his country's triumph and his excellent performances throughout the tournament.
The feared striker netted several hat-tricks on his way to score 39 goals in 21 matches last season, the most by a player in a single season in the history of Qatar Stars League.
On Wednesday, Al Sadd fell to a 2-1 defeat to Spanish side Olot in their second pre-season friendly.
The Wolves took the lead in the 31st minute through Hashim Ali, before Olot replied with two goals in the 48th and 55th minute. Al Sadd got a number of opportunities to score in the second half, especially for Akram Afif, but weren't able to make use of them.
Coach Xavi has been using the friendlies to give his players more exposure ahead of the new season and he started Wednesday's match with Saad Al Dosari, Tarek Salman, Jung Woo-young, Hamed Ismail, Abdelkarim Hassan, Gabi, Nam Tae-Hee, Hassan Al Haydos, Afif, Abdulaziz Al Ansari and Hashim Ali.
In the second half, Xavi brought in Jehad Mohammed, Bahaa Al Lethy, Hussain Bahzad, Yasir Abubakar, Ahmed Sayyar, Khaled Al Yazidi, Hamza Al Sanhaji and Ali Asad.
In their first friendly match, Al Sadd drew 1-1 with Palamos.
Al Sadd will conclude their training camp on July 29 as the team returns to Doha ahead of their season opener against Al Wakrah on August 21.