AFC Cup West Zone wrap: Group D still a two-horse race

FC Istiklol and Altyn Asyr continue to trade blows at the top of Group D after both sides recorded big AFC Cup wins on Wednesday.

Group D: FC Alay 1-4 FC Istiklol

Manuchekhr Dzhalilov and substitute Dilshod Vasiev both scored braces as Tajkistan’s FC Istiklol kept their unbeaten record alive with a 4-1 thrashing of FC Alay of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Dzhalilov opened the scoring just after the half hour mark, firing past Abduaziz Makamov, and then doubled his side’s lead six minutes before the break.

Dmitri Barkov broke the offside trap and cut the ball back for Dzhalilov who made no mistake, as poor Makamov found himself alone against two attackers.

And Vasiev would boss the second half with a brace of his own as the visitors opened up an unassailable 4-0 lead.

Odiljon Abdurahmanov pulled one back for the home side two minutes from time, but it was a goal of little consequence.

Group D: Altyn Asyr 3-0 Dordoi FC

Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr also stayed unbeaten as they dispatched Dordoi from Kyrgyzstan 3-0 to keep the pressure on the group leaders.

Altymurad Annadurayev scored the opener after 14 minutes, and Dordoi gave away a penalty just three minutes later, allowing Arslan Amanow to convert from the spot.

And Amanow would convert another penalty kick from 12 yards out with 10 minutes to all but end the contest at the halfway mark.

The day’s results mean Istiklol and Altyn Asyr remain locked on 10 points each with two rounds of fixtures remaining, while both Dordio Bishkek and Alay Osh are already out of the running.