Zobahan Fails in First Step

Zobahan players defended resiliently and were successful in keeping Al Duhail attackers at bay until the last 15 minutes when they received three goals to exchange the 1-0 victory with a 1-3 defeat
Zobahan’s Brazilian striker Kiros Stanley scored the only goal for Iranian side.Zobahan’s Brazilian striker Kiros Stanley scored the only goal for Iranian side.

Al Duhail of Qatar came from behind to record a 3-1 victory over Iran’s Zobahan in Group B of the 2018 AFC Champions League on Monday at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.

Brazilian striker Kiros Stanley put the visitors in front 10 minutes into the game. Giorgi Gvelesiani’s header was nodded on by Morteza Tabrizi to beat goalkeeper Amine Lecomte. But the forward who had scored twice in the play-off saw his headed effort ricochet off the cross bar and into the path of Kiros who headed home from point-blank range.

According to the AFC website, the visitors defended resiliently and were successful in keeping Al Duhail attackers at bay, until the 74th minute when Youssef Msakni’s shot was spilled by goalkeeper Mazaheri onto the path of Karim Boudiaf, who drove home the rebound to equalize for the Qataris.

One minute later the defensive midfielder got his second of the night from a powerful header after Nam Tae-hee’s cross from the corner.

The Korean playmaker was his side’s creative force once more, finding Msakni with a cross that was swept home to round the scoring with five minutes to go and seal an important victory at the start of the campaign for Al Duhail which will travel to the UAE to face Al Wanda in their next game. Zobahan, meanwhile, will welcome Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv Tashkent to Iran in Matchday 2 on February 19.

 Decisive Victory

In the other match of the group, Lokomotiv began their tournament in style after an impressive 5-0 win at home over Al Wahda. The host team took the lead in the 25th minute when Sanjar Shaakhmedov’s through ball found Nivaldo in the box and the Brazilian slotted home past goalkeeper Rashed Ali to earn the host a lead which they took into the break.

Lokomotiv started the second half on the front foot and were 2-0 up eight minutes after the restart, courtesy of a stunning effort from Ikromjon Alibaev with the midfielder’s strike from the halfway line catching Ali off-guard.

Al Wahda’s night went from bad to worse just two minutes later when defender Salem Sultan converted Shukrat Mukhammadiev’s cross into his own net to make it 3-0 to Lokomotiv.

Substitute and new signing Sardor Rashidov then got his name on the scoresheet in the 59th minute, cutting onto his left foot and drilling in a fierce shot that went in at the near post, before Mukhammadiev delivered a perfect cross from the right wing to set up Alibaev, who headed in his second and Lokomotiv’s fifth goal.

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