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Written By Jacobs Dunga

The Saudi Arabian champions secured passage to the next round of the Champions League on Monday.

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Marcelo Gallardo was full of praise for his lads following their qualification to the next phase of the Champions League.


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The Argentinian is new at the helm and has been saddled with reviving the Tiger’s season. 

He has since begun on an impressive note with three wins and a draw in his first four games..

Speaking at the post match press conference following the 2-1 victory over Sepahan, he assigned special praise to his players for their efforts.

“A match like this, I know, will be very difficult. I must congratulate the players on this victory and the great level.”

‎Kante’s absence was influential, and the injury still haunted the player, and I did not work with him as a coach.”

‎”Karim Benzema is a distinguished and great player and I want to reach the FIFA Club World Cup fully prepared.”

“We are in a challenging period, and the players and the group appreciate this challenge.” He concluded.

Kante has been out injured for a few weeks but the coach expects to have him back for the Club World Cup.

Meanwhile…

Coach of Sepahan Jose Morais, whose side lost to Al Ittihad praised the reception and level of officiating in Saudi Arabia.

The Iranian outfit’s manager spoke after the match in which they now await a decision from the FIFA through AFC to confirm their qualification to the next round.

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“The atmosphere was popular and was not difficult, but the refereeing was good, and I thank them for this.”

‎”The result is fair for the match

‎I thank them for the beautiful and distinguished reception from Saudi Arabia, as well as Al-Ittihad Club.”

‎”We are waiting for the appeal to the FIFA arbitration center to obtain the three points and qualify for the next round.”

Recalled, Ittihad refused to take to the field in Iran where the reverse fixture should have taken place, an action which could see the points awarded to the Iranians.

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