Doha, Qatar – Two goals in extra-time have helped hosts Al Sadd beat Hienghene Sport 3-1 in the opening match of the FIFA Club World Cup 2019 in Qatar’s capital, Doha.
Both sides were tied 1-1 after the end of normal time in front of a small crowd that gathered on Wednesday at Al Sadd’s Jassim bin Hamad Stadium.
AbdelKarim Hassan scored from a free-kick inside the box in the 100th minute to put the Qatari side ahead, while Pedro Miguel sealed his team win over the New Caledonian side in the 114th minute.
Al Saad, who are taking part in their second Club World Cup, will now take on Mexico’s Monterrey in the second round on Saturday. Saudi side Al-Hilal will launch its campaign against Tunisian club Esperance earlier in the day.
“It was great playing in front of the home crowd, tremendous feeling,” Miguel told Al Jazeera.
“We did miss a few chances but I guess that’s part of the game. Next match, we will improve on a few things, I’m sure.”
English Premier League winners Liverpool and South American champions Flamengo, both making their entry in the semi-final stage, are favourites to win the tournament that is taking place in Qatar for the first time.
The Club World Cup is the biggest football tournament being held in Qatar, who will host the 2022 World Cup.
Reporting by Faras Ghani