Er­bil stays top of its Group at AFC Cup

Er­bil de­feats Alay 3-0 in its last match of AFC Cup group stage cam­paign

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The Kur­dish cap­i­tal city club of Er­bil fin­ished off its AFC Cup group stage cam­paign in style with a com­fort­able 3-0 vic­tory over Kyr­gyzs­tan cham­pi­ons Alay on Tues­day that saw the for­mer fi­nal­ist se­cure top spot in Group D and home ad­van­tage in next month’s Round of 16.

The Yel­low Cas­tle team of Er­bil needed only a point from its visit to Osh to win the group ahead of Bahraini side Riffa but Er­bil club took all three points in a com­pre­hen­sive win.

Span­ish striker Borja Ru­bi­ato opened the scor­ing af­ter 16 min­utes and then sec­ond half goals from mid­fielder Nabeel Sabah and Hawar Mo­hammed sealed the win for the vis­i­tors.

Af­ter Er­bil scored three goals against Riffa and Shabab Al Or­don in their pre­vi­ous two AFC Cup out­ings, win­less Alay was al­ways go­ing to have a dif­fi­cult task. And Ru­bi­ato notched his fifth goal of the tour­na­ment just af­ter the quar­ter of an hour mark to put Er­bil in front at half-time.

And al­though Alay fought back valiantly, again backed by a pas­sion­ate home sup­port, they con­ceded again nine min­utes af­ter the restart when Sabah dou­bled the vis­i­tors’ lead. Mo­hammed’s goal in 65 min­utes ended the scor­ing and any hopes the hosts may had of an im­prob­a­ble come­back.

“I am happy with this re­sult and first place in the group stage as we con­tinue our progress in the AFC Cup,” said Er­bil coach Ay­oub Odisho

Odisho thinks Alay played well in the de­fense as it tried not to give Er­bil chances, how­ever, Er­bil still scored three goals and reached our tar­get.

“Even though the match was not easy for my team, the goal which we scored in the first half helped us to play bet­ter in the sec­ond half. Our next aim is to qual­ify for the quar­ter-fi­nals as want to be bat­tle till the end in this com­pe­ti­tion.” He noted

Alay tried to reach first vic­tory in the tour­na­ment, but the team made a lot of mis­takes dur­ing the match and Er­bil proved to be a stronger team.

Er­bil is very strong, maybe the strong­est in the com­pe­ti­tion. It has been our first par­tic­i­pa­tion in this tour­na­ment and we had a good ex­pe­ri­ence of con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball and, I’m sure, it will help us in the fu­ture, “said Alay coach Boris Streltsov

Streltsov promised to try hard so that his team would re­turn back to the AFC Cup in next year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

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