Xavi scuffs penalty to cost Al Sadd AFC Champions League spot
Ex-Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez failed in the penalty shootout to see his Qatar club Al Sadd lose to Al Jazira in a AFC Champions League playoff on Tuesday.
Both sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw after extra-time to move into the dreaded shootout, with Al Jazira coming away 5-4 winners in the end.
Xavi, 36, opted for a move to Qatar last year after playing more than 500 games for the Catalan giants and has been ever-present for Al Sadd despite a niggling injury throughout 2015.
His side took the lead through Hamza Senhadji before former Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones levelled proceedings just before the break. Ali Mabkhout gave Al Jazira a 66th minute lead before Senhadji scored his second of the game with two minutes left to play to send the game into extra-time.
Neither team found a breakthrough in extra-time and it was down to penalties to decide which team would take their place in this season's AFC Champions League group stages.
Xavi and Morteza Pouraliganji and Senhadji all missed for the spot to leave Jesualdo Ferreira's side facing a disappointing flight back home to Qatar.
The Portuguese tactician felt that his team had done enough to win the game but praised Al Jazira for executing their game plan to perfection.
"I think we deserved to win this game. I think my players deserved to win this game and go to the Champions League -- but congratulations for our opponent," he told Sport 360.
"They [Jazira] made it work. They pressed in the second half and scored in the last minute of the first half.
"That was important psychologically."
His opposite number Henk ten Cate was equally pleased with his team's efforts and lauded both sets of players for dishing out high-quality football.
"I think it's an advertisement for football in the UAE, this game," said Ten Cate. "I first want to congratulate my players -- they did an amazing job.
"They beat a really good team and achieved something special, I think. The players are very happy in the dressing room; they put lemonade and water on my head."