Al Sadd host Pakhtakor in ACL today
DOHA: Leading Group D and yet to lose a game in the 2019 AFC Champions League, Pakhtakor travel to Qatar to face second-placed Al Sadd on Monday.
A high-scoring affair in Tashkent a fortnight ago ended in a 2-2 draw, with Spanish midfielder Xavi bagging a brace for Al Sadd. The result kept Pakhtakor at the top of the group with five points, while Al Sadd trail by a point and a place.
A win against Al Sadd can put Pakhtakor a step closer to qualifying to the AFC Champions League knock-out stage for the first time in nine years, while three points for the Qataris can put them on track to reaching the Round of 16 for the fourth time in the past six years.
Domestically, both teams are top of their leagues, albeit at contrasting ends of the season. Al Sadd have already secured the Qatar Stars League title with a game to spare, while Pakhtakor remain unbeaten with 13 points from their first five games of the Uzbek Super League.
The two sides met in the 2011 AFC Champions League group stage, with Al Sadd winning 2-1 in Doha and the two sides playing out a 1-1 draw in Tashkent. The Qatari side went on to lift the title that year.