AFC Champions League

AFC Champions League: Own goal hands Al Ain a draw

Al Ain earned a late draw away at Al Ahli in AFC Champions League Group C action last night.

The Saudi hosts took the lead in the 26th minute through Al Sahabi, but Nassir Al Shamrani produced a smart finish to equalize within a matter of minutes.

Al Ahli retook the lead shortly after the break after goalkeeper Khalid Eisa gave possession away to Ioannis Fetfatzidis. However, the lead was once again short-lived as Al Sahabi turned from hero to villain by putting the ball in his own net.

The 2-2 draw sees Al Ain remain within two points of Group C leaders Al Ahli.

In the other match of Group C, Iranian side Zobahan picked up their first win of the 2017 campaign as they beat 10-man Bunyodkor 2-0 away from home.

Morteza Tabrizi opened the score after a mistake from Javlon Mirabdullaev 10 minutes after the break. The home side was reduced to 10 men shortly after when Vadim Cemirtan was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Danial Emaeilifar, and Jerry Bengtson converted from the penalty spot in injury time to seal the win to Zobahan.

For Bunyodkor, their winless run in the competition now extends to 17 matches.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Esteghlal eased to a 2-0 win against Lokomotiv at Azadi Stadium to move two points clear at the top of Group A. The defeat sees Lokomotiv remain rooted at the bottom of their group.

Farshid Esmaeili opened the scoring on 37 minutes after his low shot weaved through several defenders and into the opposition goal.

Just six minutes before time, Ali Ghorbani made sure of the win for the host by cutting in from the left and curling his shot past Lokomotiv keeper Ignatiy Nesterov.

Al Ahli of Dubai and Saudi Arabia’s Al Tawoun are locked on four points apiece holding each other to a goalless draw in the United Arab Emirates.

The home side will be frustrated at not having found a way to convert their superiority into goals, although they are only two points behind Group A leaders Esteghlal after the opening three rounds of competition.