“Akhal” F.C. won a 2:1 victory over “Erbil” F.C., one of the strongest teams of Iraq, in the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation Cup in Ashgabat.
The opponent of the vice-champion and holder of the Turkmenistan Cup is a four-time winner of the Iraq Championship, a six-time participant in the AFC Cup; last year “Erbil” reached the final, but lost 2:4 to “Al-Kadisi” F.C. (Kuwait) after penalty shootouts.
“Akhal” half-back Kurban Annaev opened the score in the 29th minute of the match. And a minute later “Erbil” forward Luay Salah scored an equalizer. At half-time, the teams left the field with the score 1:1.
The second half was a close contest as the opponents paid more attention to the defense of their goals. The highlight of the match was in the 90th minute, when Kurban Annaev scored a goal for the second time and secured a 2:1 victory for his club.
With the victory over one of the much-fancied teams of the AFC Cup, “Akhal” brought intrigue to Group “С”, in which another match was held. In Kuwait, local “Al Qadsia” F.C. played a 2-2 draw match versus “Istiklol” F.C. (Tajikistan).
Thus, after the three rounds, the results are as follow: “Al-Kadisi” – 7 points, “Istiklol” – 4 points, and “Erbil” and “Akhal” – 3 points each.
The return match “Akhal” versus “Erbil” (in the fourth round) will take place on a neutral field in the capital of Qatar – Doha on April 15.
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