Zob Ahan hold off Lokomotiv as Al Duhail finish perfect

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Zob Ahan secured their place in the AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday with a 1-1 draw against Lokomotiv Tashkent in Group B.

Needing only to avoid defeat at the Lokomotiv Stadium to pip their opponents to a second-place finish, Zob Ahan started the brighter of the two teams and took the lead in the 25th minute when Morteza Tabrizi notched his fourth goal of the campaign.

The hosts did manage to level the scores in the 90th minute when centre-back Islom Tukhtakhodjaev popped up at the other end of the field to equalise.

Nonetheless, it proved to be too little too late for Lokomotiv, as Zob Ahan got the draw they needed to finish second due to their superior head-to-head record with both teams level on seven points.

Meanwhile, Al Duhail became only the fourth team in the competition’s history to finish the group stage with a 100 per cent record of six wins as they beat Al Wahda 1-0 at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.

Following a goalless first half, Abdulrahman Mostafa provided the breakthrough in the 47th minute as Duhail once again asserted their credentials as genuine contenders in the Champions League this season.