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Xavi proud of Al Sadd after heroic defeat

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Al Sadd coach Xavi Hernandez said his side deserved to go through to the AFC Champions League final after their heroic performance in the second leg in Riyadh which they won 4-2. 

But the spectacular win was not enough as Al Hilal progressed into the final with a 6-5 aggregate win.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Xavi said: “It was a great game from both teams, which was worthy of a semifinal.”

A ten-man Sadd, who lost Abdelkarim Hassan to a red card had lost the first leg 4-1.

“We were better in the first and second legs. I am proud of my team and I am also disappointed because we deserved to be in the final.”

He added: “We played with the same manner as in the first leg. The result was only because of the red card. Today we played with our identity, but it was only the first leg result that made things difficult for us. We tried to give our best but luck was not in our favour. We must continue working and learn from our mistakes. Today’s match showed that we are a big team with character. We must learn the lessons for the next season.”

Xavi also spoke about how the absence of Baghdad Bounedjah and Abdelkarim Hassan affected the team, but added that “the team put up a great performance.”

The coach further remarked: “This game deserved to be a final and not a semi-final, as it is a game for the history books of Asia.”

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