Al Sadd suffer big defeat in Uzbekistan
Tashkent: Uzbekistan side Lokomotiv gained revenge for their 6-2 defeat in Doha last month by securing a 5-0 rout over 2011 champions Al Sadd in Group C of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday.
With only one point from three games going into encounter at Lokomotiv Stadium, coach Vadim Abramov knew only a win would keep the Uzbeks’ hopes of qualifying for the Round of 16 alive, and two goals within the first 15 minutes from forward Marat Bikmaev set them well on their way.
Then after Al Sadd missed two gilt-edged chances before half-time, midfielder Sanjar Shaakhmedov all but finished the game off in the 54thminute when he made it 3-0 before substitutes Damir Kojasevic and Ruslan Korian wrapped things up in the final 10 minutes to give Lokomotiv a comprehensive victory.
The home side started like they had a point to prove and took the lead in the seventh minute after midfielder Sardor Mirzayev broke down the right before cutting the ball back to forward Ikromjon Alibaev, and when his shot was parried by keeper Muhannad Naim, Bikmaev was on hand to tap in the rebound from close range.
The Uzbeks then doubled their lead after 14 minutes following good work down the left by Jasur Khasanov, whose cross was well taken down by Bikmaev before he finished with his left foot from just a few yards out.
But the visitors should have pulled one back midway through the first half when Brazilian striker Grafite latched onto a long ball over the top before skewing his shot wide from 10 yards with only keeper Mamur Ikramov to beat.
And after Lokomotiv’s Shaakhmedov rattled the Al Sadd bar with a sizzling shot from fully 30 yards seven minutes before the interval, the Qataris again should have netted on the stroke of halftime when Hasan Al Haydos side-footed Grafite’s low cross wide when it seemed easier to score.
Any chance the visitors had of leaving Tashkent with a positive result was all but diminished 10 minutes after the restart when Shaakhmedov slipped in Bikmaev, who turned inside the area with his first touch before returning the ball to the midfielder, who tapped the ball home from the penalty spot.
Then with 10 minutes remaining the hosts piled further misery on Al Sadd when a mistake by defender Mohammed Kasola allowed substitute Temurkhuja Abdukholikov to break down the left before squaring to Kojasevic who had an easy finish from 12 yards.
And forward Korian then completed the scoring in stoppage time when he twisted in and out of the Al Sadd defence in the right side of the box before rounding keeper Naim and tapping the ball into an empty net.