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Shenzhen stun Al Ahli to book semi-final ticket
Updated: 2005-09-22 08:47

SHENZHEN – Shenzhen Jianlibao put their domestic woes behind them as they booked their place the semi-finals after defeating Al Ahli 3-1 in extra-time of a barnstorming quarter-final second leg, to go through 4-3 on aggregate.

Al Ahli went into the game with a one-goal cushion having won the first leg in Jeddah 2-1 although the spoils may have been shared had Shenzhen’s Yang Chen not headed into his own net three minutes from time after a Naif Al Qadi own goal had cancelled out Rogerio’s opener

Zhou Ting’s red card in the first leg made him unavailable while his defensive partner Li Ming found himself on the bench with Wang Xinxin and Luo Bofei starting in their stead in an otherwise unchanged Shenzhen starting 11.

Meanwhile, Al Ahli coach Ilija Lukic made one change from the side that won the first leg, fielding Adu Al Bsisi between the posts in favour of Mansour Al Naje.

It was the Al Ahli keeper – making his sixth Champions League start of the campaign – that saw the first meaningful action when he flapped at a second minute free-kick which the 28-year-old was relieved to see headed wide.

However, after Li Jianhua had twice forced corners with his buccaneering runs down the right channel, Shenzhen took a 6th minute lead when Marek Zajac prodded the ball into the net after a speculative long ball into the Al Ahli box was headed into the Polish defender’s path via two of his teammates.

Zajac’s strike would be enough to take them through on away goals but with 84 minutes left to play, sitting back and defending would too dangerous a strategy.
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