Al Sadd and Sharjah of the United Arab Emirates played out a goalless draw in Group B of the AFC Champions League 2023/24 on Monday.
Al Sadd were the better side but Baghdad Bounedjah's missed penalty in the second half cost them dearly as Sharjah grabbed a valuable point, the AFC website reported.
Having Cosmin Olaroius' side pinned in their own half, Al Sadd should have gone ahead in the third minute when Bounedjah teed up Akram Afif, who wasted his effort from just above the box.
Just minutes later, Afif once again found space in a similar position only for the forward to blast his curling effort high over the bar.
Sharjah barely troubled the Al Sadd backline with Miralem Pjanic the most threatening when he fed Ousmane Camara through on goal only for the Guinean to be flagged offside before trying it again with Firas Ben Arbi, garnering the same result.
Al Sadd came close to scoring just after the half-hour mark when Afif sent a delightful ball off a set-piece situation into the path of Mohammed Waad, who flicked his header just above the bar.
Afif kept Sharjah on their toes with his dangerous run-ins and set up Hassan Al Haydos nicely at the top of the six-yard box in the 39th minute, only for the Al Sadd captain to strike his effort straight into the arms of Sharjah keeper Adel Al Hosani.
Both sides continued to toil in front of goal with Sharjah's Caio Lucas coming within range when he angled his effort from distance over the bar, while Bounedjah failed to find the target from inside the box in first half added time.
Sharjah started the second half with more aggression and came close to breaking the deadlock in the 48th minute when Lucas steered his header just wide off Pjanic's corner.
Al Sadd wasted a golden opportunity to snatch the lead with Bounedjah smashing his spot-kick against the left post just before the hour-mark.
Sharjah should have scored three minutes later when Ben Arbi sent a delightful ball into the box off a set-piece situation only for Konstantinos Manolas to miss his header from close range as both sides had to be content with a share of the points.
Source: Qatar News Agency