Puche happy with victory

Despite being put under immense pressure in the first half, Qadsia SC turned the tables on Arbil in the 77th minute when Swiss forward Danijel Subotic found the back of the net with a left-footed strike from 25 yards out. 

Even though they came close to scoring on numerous occasions, Arbil failed to level things up and, as a result, they were unable to avenge their 4-2 loss in a penalty shootout in the AFC Cup final in Dubai last year. 

"I’m extremely happy with the victory today because it’s an important win for us," Puche told the official AFC website. "We played against a good team who were well organized and that’s why we couldn’t get an easy victory tonight.

"Our players had good concentration and our efforts were rewarded by scoring the winning goal and getting the three points from the match. This win will give us a big push especially as we put in a lot of effort to achieve it."

However, Arbil coach Ayob Odisho blamed his side's loss on a lapse in concentration and their failure to make the most of their opportunities. 

Due to the loss, Arbil are now tied second with Tajikistan's FC Istiklol after they beat Ahal FC 2-1 on Wednesday. 

"We lost tonight because we lacked concentration while we were not lucky and couldn’t score from the chances that we created," Odisho said. "We played against a strong team who are the defending champions but we still have a chance to comeback.

"The match was even from the two teams and we nearly got a point from the match before Qadsia scored a late winner. We played well in several parts of the match but still we couldn’t win and hopefully we can improve in the next matches."