Al Shabab salvage late draw

Naif Hazazi's late goal earned Al Shabab a 2-2 draw in their AFC Champions League Group B tie at home against Uzbek club Pakhtakor.

The home side took the lead in the 39th minute when Abdulrahman Al Khaibary found the back of the net, but the visitors bounced back after the break and see Igor Sergeev made it 1-1 just after the hour mark.

Pakhtakor captain Kakhi Makharadze then put the visitors in front on 71 minutes, before Hazazi levelled things up with six minute remaining on the clock.

The Saudi Arabia striker's goal ensured that the Saudis remain undefeated in Group B after two matches, although they are two points behind Pakhtakor.

The hosts started the match the better and after Alexander Lobanov was called into action on more than one occasion, they deservedly took the lead just before the interval.

Despite their enterprise, Al Shabab took the lead thanks to a defensive mistake, as defender Aleksandr Merzlyakov was robbed of possession and Al Khaibary bundled his clearance into the net.

To their credit, the Uzbeki club responded well to going down and on the hour mark Sergeev got on the end of Jaloliddin Masharipov' cross – his initial volley was parried but he managed to bundle the rebound in to level matter.

Their second half turnaround came full circle with 19 minutes remaining when Makharadze scored from a spot kick after Fallatah was penalised for a clumsy challenge.

Al Shabab seemed to be inspired by going down a goal and with time running out, Hazazi combined with Rafinha and Abdullah Al Astaa to level proceedings once more.

 

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