Al Wahda and Al Ittihad record easy wins to make AFC Champions League 2019 knockout stages

Al Wahda

UAE Pro League outfit Al Wahda recorded a comeback win over Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv Tashkent to guarantee progression to the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League 2019 on Tuesday.

In the Matchday 5 fixture held at the Al Nahya Stadium in Abu Dhabi, hosts Al Wahda were undisputedly the second-best side on the field for most of the first half which was dominated by the visitors from Central Asia.

There were a string of chances for Lokomotiv to pull ahead in the first half — most notably for the likes of Arslanmurat Amanov and Husniddin Gafurov — but their profligacy in front of the goal meant that the score remained goalless at half time.

However, the second half began with the Uzbekistan Super League outfit finally taking a deserved lead as Temurkhuja Abdukholikov headed in a cross from Amanov just two minutes after the restart.

Gafurov once again passed up on a chance to put Lokomotiv ahead soon after the visitors had scored their and the missed chances would come back to bite them as Al Wahda found a way back into the game as they were gifted an own goal by the Uzbeks — defender Igor Jelic the unfortunate man to do so at the hour mark.

The Clarets put on a much improved showing after they restored the parity and the turning point of the game came when the referee pointed to the spot after Lokomotiv’s Oleg Zoteev handled the ball inside the area in the 75th minute.

Emirati club’s Brazilian forward Leonardo scored from the spot to give his side the lead and could have scored another in the 85th minute when his effort was kept out by the woodwork.

Al Wahda, though, would have their third as Khalil Ibrahim scored in the added time to seal the win as well as a spot in the knockout stages for the Emiratis.

Al Ittihad sail into Round of 16 with 2-0 win over Al Rayyan

Al Ittihad Club also made it to the knockout stages of the ACL 2019 from Group B after they scored twice in five second half minutes to down Qatar’s Al Rayyan SC at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

The Qatar Stars League side had kept the Saudi Professional League side at bay in the first half, but veteran Saudi Arabian striker Nasser Al-Shamrani found a way to crack the Al Rayyan defence in the 62nd minute.

Former Corinthians star Romarinho soon made it 2-0 five minutes later as Al Ittihad recorded their third win to take the second spot in Group B with 10 points. Al Wahda are sitting at the top with 12 points with the two teams set to face each other on the final matchday in a clash that will decide the group winners.

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