Kelantan down Ayeyawady to finish top

Kelantan sealed top spot in AFC Cup Group G and home advantage in the Round of 16 after beating Ayeyawady United 3-1 at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium.

Kelantan

By FOX Sports staff

Heading into Tuesday's game with a one-point lead at the top of the table, the Malaysian treble champions edged ahead three minutes before the break when Dimitri Petratos' close-range header found its way into the back of the net via a deflection, before Nik Shahrul Azim doubled their lead in the 70th minute when he scored with a left-footed screamer after breaking down the right.

Nay Lin Tun did pull one back for the visitors from Myanmar ten minutes later when he ghosted in at the back post to head home Leandro Duarte's cross, but Kelantan wrapped up the three points in the 83rd minute when captain Badhri Radzi directly curled home a corner past Aung Min Khant.

The result was enough to see Bojan Hodak's side finish the group stage a point ahead of Vietnamese outfit SHB Da Nang, who recorded a 3-1 home win over Maziya of Maldives.

Argentinean striker Gaston Merlo fired Da Nang ahead in the 14th minute and grabbed his second four minutes after the half-hour mark, although Maziya pulled one back through a Hassan Adhuham effort to keep alive their hopes of pulling off a comeback.

But seven minutes after the hour mark, Merlo struck again to complete his hat-trick and seal Da Nang's progress to the knockout round.

Selangor joined Kelantan as Malaysia's representatives in the next stage from Group H after beating Singaporean giants Tampines Rovers 3-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Red Giants appeared to be cruising after a Jufri Taha own-goal and an Amri Yahyah strike had them leading 2-0 at the break, but the hosts pulled one back in the 50th minute when Asraruddin Putra Omar headed into his own net, before Aleksandar Duric equalised eight minutes later.

Nonetheless, Amri struck a fine effort 14 minutes from time to hand Selangor the win, which took them above Saigon Xuan Thanh, who fell to a 4-1 defeat at East Bengal.

East Bengal, who were already assured of their place in the Round of 16, took the lead at the Salt Lake Stadium after just eight minute when Chidi Edeh struck from the spot, before Andrew Barisic made it 2-0 on the stroke of halftime.

Penn Orji then made it 3-0 in the 53rd minute and doubled his tally six minutes later, and although Christian Nsi Amougou grabbed a consolation for the Vietnamese side a minute after the hour mark, Selangor's victory meant they were eliminated from the tournament.

In Group D, Al Qadsia finished top after playing out a 2-2 draw at home to Al Ramtha, who missed out on progress after Al Shorta booked the second qualifying spot with a 3-1 victory at Ravshan Kulob.

Al Qadsia appeared to be cruising after goals from Bader Al Mutawa and Nawaf Al Mutairi in the 29th and 34th minute respectively, but even though their opponents fought back in the second half and equalised through strikes from Jean-Paul Kesse Mangoua and Mohammad Kassas, the point was not enough to send Al Ramtha through due to Al Shorta's victory in Tajikistan.

Goals from Mohamed Al Wakid and Ahmad Kalasi inside the opening half hour had given Al Shorta a comfortable lead, and although Davronjon Tukhtasunov pulled one back for the hosts in the 41st minute, the Syrian side wrapped up the win two minutes before the hour mark when Ammar Zakour struck a third.

Finally in Group C, Al Faisaly finished top with a 1-0 home win over Duhok thanks to Abdullah Al Attar's 29th-minute strike, which also meant Dhofar were eliminated despite beating Al Shaab Ibb 1-0 at the Al Saada Stadium after Oman international Nasser Al Shimli scored the only goal of the game two minutes after the half-hour mark.

Tuesday's AFC Cup Results

Group C

Al Faisaly 1-0 Duhok

Al Shaab Ibb 0-1 Dhofar

Group D

Ravshan Kulob 1-3 Al Shorta

Al Qadsia 2-2 Al Ramtha

Group G

Kelantan 3-1 Ayeyawady United

SHB Da Nang 3-1 Maziya

Group H

Tampines Rovers 2-3 Selangor

East Bengal 4-1 Saigon Xuan Thanh

Image courtesy of FAS (Alfie Lee)



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