Al Shabab beat Neftchi

DUBAI — Al Shabab Al Arabi cruised to a valuable 3-0 home victory over Neftchi in the AFC Champions League playoffs at Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium on Saturday night.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Sun 19 Feb 2012, 1:30 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:14 AM

Essa Obaid broke the deadlock in the 6th minute of the first half with a lovely rebound and the brillian striker doubled the score-line at the hour mark with a beautiful header before substitute Nasser Masoud added the third goal in the injury time.

The hosts set the early pace of the almost one-sided clash thanks to the hard work of the brilliant midfielders,Villanueva, Haidarov, Adel Abdulla and Ciel who took full control of the operations area and denied their opponents any access to the dangerous zone.

Interestingly, the Uzbeks first attempt on the goal came at the half hour mark with a long range shot from Akramov. But the only threat was posed by Nurbaev who was only unlucky when his right footer hit the left pole. And apart from that, the Uzbeks did nothing to make their presence felt.

With this result, UAE will be represented with four teams in the 2012 edition of the AFC Champions League and Al Shabab will join Al Gharafa of Qatar, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal and Piroozi from Iran in the competition proper.

Defending champions Al Jazira, runners up Bani Yas and Al Nasr are already through in group stage of the continent?s premier championship.

Neftchi coach Yuriy Sarkisyan, however, has already admitted that their fortunes are far less than their hosts in the second stage of the competition.

Sarkisyan came to the UAE with a squad that features only Uzbek-born players, which is his side’s first of the 2012 season.

“Al Shabab’s chances are better as we don’t have any foreign players while Al Shabab have good players in addition to four powerful players including Haydarov, who is considered one of the best Uzbek players. I watched two matches of Al Shabab’s when we had a preparatory camp in Dubai recently. They have a good team and they will have a good advantage since they will be playing at home and in front their fans,” he was quoted as saying.

Al Shabab: 30-Ismail Rabea, 2-Essa Mohammed, 4-Mohammed Al Matroushi, 5-Walid Abbas, 7-Azizbek Haydarov, 8-Kieza, 10-Carlos Villanueva, 21-Adel Abdullah, 24-Essa Shirook, 25-Ali Mahmood, 44-Ciel

Neftchi: 1-Chilmatov Hislatjon, 2-Fakhriddin Kholmuradov, 3-Shukurali Pulatov, 4-Aybek Nurbaev, 6-Yakubov Bahtiyorjon, 7-Mansurjon Saidov, 8-Alijonov Aziz, 10-Anvar Berdiev, 17-Mirzayev Sardor, 22-Akramov Iqboljon, 28-Irmatov Dilyorbeek

Referee: Torke Mohsen (Iran)

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