AFC Champions League — Nasaf 1 Al Sadd 0
Qatar’s Al Sadd went down fighting to Uzbekistan’s Nasaf 0-1 in their third-round Group C AFC Champions League match in Qarshi on Monday.
Azizjon Ganiev’s converted from the spot in the 62nd minute and that proved to be the all-important goal. The penalty was awarded following Salem Al Hajri’s foul on Abdixolikov.
Hosts Nasaf looked closer to opening the scoring in the first half, while Al Sadd struggled in the absence of influential captain Xavi Hernandez, out injured for almost three weeks with a back muscle injury.
The hosts were denied the lead on a few occasions due to a combination of fine goalkeeping from Saad Al Dossari and rugged defending from the Al Sadd backline.
Two minutes before the half-time break, the home fans celebrated wildly after striker Bobir Abdixolikov turned in Slavko Lukic’s cross, but the effort was ruled offside.
Nasaf eventually made the breakthrough after the hour mark.
Ruzikul Berdiev’s men went on to maintain their lead for the remainder of the match, earning them their second straight win in the competition.
The result leaves both teams with six points each in Group C, ahead of next week’s return fixture in Doha.