(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Head coach Sabri Lamouchi said it was hugely important for Al Duhail to open their 2021 AFC Champions League Group C campaign with a win.
Goals from Michael Olunga and Edmilson Junior steered the Qataris to a perfect start against Iraq's Al Shorta at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium on Thursday, with Lamouchi's only regret being the margin of victory which he felt should have been higher.
'It is always important to have a winning start in a competition, said Lamouchi. 'We controlled the match in an excellent way.
'The players played well and we could have scored more goals. I'm happy with the performance but we lacked the final touch with several chances that we had.
'In the first half we didn't give Al Shorta the chance to threaten our goal, said the 49-year-old Frenchman. 'We tried to hold on for the win in the second period with the least possible effort and we managed to do so.
The win is an early boost for Al Duhail in their bid to advance to the Round of 16, having been eliminated at the group stage in the 2020 edition.
Al Shorta head coach Aleksandar Ilic said his side's performance improved in the second half, after a first period devoid of clearcut chances for the Iraqis.
'In the second half, we had good organisation unlike the first half where we didn't produce our usual, said Ilic. 'We tried to create something different in the second period but we failed to score.
'We had to made some changes in the positions of the players as some were injured and this affected us, added the Serbian. 'The result is not good of course but we expect to be better in the next matches.
Al Shorta face another difficult test as they take on Esteghlal tomorrow. The Iranian side impressed with a 5-2 win over Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli Saudi FC on Thursday. Al Ahli will face Al Duhail on the same day.
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