|Players and coaching staff traded blows in an all-in brawl during the game [AFP]|
Qatar’s Al Sadd beat South Korea’s Suwon Bluewings 2-0 on Wednesday in an Asian Champions League semi-final first-leg match marred by a mass brawl that saw three players sent off.
Suwon were upset after Al Sadd striker Mamadou Niang jumped on a quick ball and moved past goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong for an 81st-minute goal to follow up his 69th-minute opener.
Suwon were expecting to receive the ball back after knocking it out so Choi Sung-hwan could receive treatment for a head injury. An Al Sadd defender cleared the ball into the empty Suwon half in the direction of Jung, but Niang ran on to it and scored into an empty net.
“Clearly, Yeom Ki-hun had put the ball out of play and I think it is the situation when our players should get it back,” Suwon coach Yoon Sung-hyo after the game.
“The opposition scored an un-gentlemanly goal but there’s nothing we can about it.”
The Senegalese striker’s goal sparked an angry reaction from the hosts as players and technical staff from both teams subsequently clashed, and one fan ran onto the World Cup Stadium field.
Al Sadd finished the game with nine men after Niang and Kader Keita were both shown red cards, while Suwon’s Stevica Ristikj was also sent off.
“There’s no excuse for a fan running onto the field and attacking our players,” Al Sadd coach Jorge Fossati said.
Fossati said Suwon was partly to blame for the second goal as the South Koreans didn’t kick immediately kick the ball out but initially continued attacking.
“I don’t want to defend the second goal but I think Niang was angry and took the decision by himself,” Fossati said.
“Our players were annoyed that Suwon kept attacking.”
In the late game, K-League leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors came from behind to beat 2004 and 2005 champions Al Ittihad 3-2 in Jeddah in the second semi-final.
Jeonbuk took the lead in the first minute through Eninho before the home side levelled four minutes later through Naif Hazazi’s fine header.
Hazizi gave the Saudis the lead in the 17th minute with a drive from inside the box.
Jeonbuk hit back 11 minutes into the second period when Al Ittihad failed to clear a corner and Son Seng-jun lashed the ball into the roof of the net.
Cho Sung-hwan then headed in the winner for the Koreans in the 75th minute.
The return legs take place next Wednesday.