Al Duhail secure knockout stage place
Tashkent: A late brace from Youssef El Arabi saw Qatar’s Al Duhail snatch a stunning 2-1 win over Lokomotiv in their 2018 AFC Champions League Matchday Four clash on Monday, becoming the first team to qualify for the knockout stages.
After spurning a number of opportunities early on, Uzbekistan international Sardor Rashidov gave Lokomotiv the lead in the 35th minute, slotting home Shukhrat Mukhammadiev’s cutback to score his second goal of the tournament.
The hosts went on to end the half with a 1-0 lead and could have been further ahead had it not been for the heroics of Al Duhail keeper Amine Lecomte.
In the second half, Al Duhail went on the offensive in search of an equaliser but were reduced to just a single shot on target in the face of a defiant defensive display from Lokomotiv.
However, just as the Central Asians thought they had the three points in the bag, Al Duhail were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute after Almoez Ali was felled in the box by Salim Mustafoev. El Arabi stepped up and duly dispatched the spot-kick to net his fifth goal of the campaign.
And there was still time for a dramatic conclusion as in the fourth minute of stoppage time, El Arabi showed great composure to deceive his marker and finish past Ignatiy Nesterov to complete his side’s comeback in dramatic fashion.
The result means that Al Duhail have ensured a spot in the Round of 16 after a fourth successive win in Group B. Both teams have away fixtures coming up on Matchday Five, with Al Duhail facing Zobahan in Isfahan while Lokomotiv travel to Abu Dhabi to take on Al Wahda.
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