FC Nasaf, a club from Uzbekistan, passes to the round of 16 after tying Al Sadd, a club from Qatar, scoring 2-2 in the AFC Champions League 2023/24 Group Stage, Group B at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, Al Rayyan.
Al Sadd, who needed to win to boost their own hopes of a place in the Round of 16, took a fifth-minute lead through Mateus Uribe, but two goals in seven minutes late in the match from Jambbuk Jighauri proved crucial in the outcome of both the game and the group.
Baghdad Bounedjah levelled for Al Sadd four minutes into injury time, but the point earned, coupled with Sharjah’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Al Faisaly from Jordan, means Ruzykul Berdyev’s side advanced as winners of the group with 11 points from their six games.
Al Sadd finished second in the group on eight points and will now have to wait to see if that is enough to earn the two-time Asian champions one of the three best runners-up slots in the knockout rounds.
The evening had started promisingly for Al Sadd with Uribe putting them in front with a speculative strike from long range that Nasaf’s Abduvohid Nematov flapped at, the ball slipping off the goalkeeper’s gloves before spinning into the goal.
The home side should have added to their lead before the interval only for Amin Hazbavi to head harmlessly across the face of goal two minutes into added time, the Iranian defender directing Mohammed Waad’s cross wide of the far post.
It was to prove a costly miss as, with seven minutes remaining, Nasaf pulled level with Jighauri scoring his first of the game with a header from Sherzod Nasrullayev’s cross.
And there was worse to come for Al Sadd in the 90th minute as Jighauri struck again. This time the Nasaf forward looped the ball over goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham with a clever first-time finish after Azizbek Amonov swung his cross into the penalty area from the right.
There was to be further drama when Bounedjah swept in from eight yards out as he pounced on Boualem Koukhi’s downward header to earn Al Sadd an equaliser but the goal proved to be too little too late for the Qatari side as the teams shared the points.
Soruce : AFC
Credit Photo : FC Nasaf