Karim Boudiaf; Chief Orchestrator for Lekhwiya
Doha: Lekhwiya’s last AFC Champions League appearance at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium resulted in a demoralising 4-0 reversal to compatriots El Jaish in the first leg of last year’s round of 16 to effectively bring an end to Djamel Belmadi’s side’s continental run.
Back at their home venue in the opening round of 2017 fixtures on Monday, there was to be no such capitulation, as a controlled performance from start to finish saw a well-oiled Lekhwiya cruise to a 3-0 victory over Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates to set the early pace in Group B.
Chief orchestrator on the night was Karim Boudiaf (second right, back row), who was at the heart of a thoroughly dominant performance. Always available in the centre of the park, the midfielder had more touches (97) than any other player and his game-topping 85 passes – with a highly impressive 83.5% accuracy – was, incredibly, 42 more than Al Jazira’s most involved player, Mbark Boussoufa.