GO UP IN SMOKE

New Straits Times - - Sport -

when Uruguayan Milesi knocked the ball in off a re­bound from a failed ear­lier at­tempt by Nawaf al-Abid.

But Al Rayyan stormed back in stun­ning fash­ion in the 55th minute thanks to cap­tain Ro­drigo Ta­bata’s de­fence split­ting run down the mid­dle cul­mi­nat­ing in a bril­liant fin­ish from Seb­sa­tian So­ria.

Ta­bata, one of the many nat­u­ralised South Amer­i­can born stars play­ing for the Qatar na­tional team, then helped Al Rayyan go ahead with an­other great piece of in­di­vid­ual bril­liance in the 59th minute.

Re­ceiv­ing the ball from a throw-in on the right, the ver­sa­tile mid­fielder ex­e­cuted a mea­sured left-footed chip from far that left the Al Hi­lal goal­keeper Ab­dulla al-Maiouf com­pletely flum­moxed.

Al Hi­lal equalised through Khribin in the 66th minute and then took a 3-2 lead in the 73rd with Milesi net­ting his sec­ond goal from just out­side the box with a pow­er­ful shot to the top right cor­ner of the net.

Al Rayyan, how­ever, were not fin­ished yet and as tem­pers frayed for­mer Barcelona player Ser­gio Gar­cia made good on an as­sist by Ta­bata to fire past alMaiouf in the 82nd minute to draw level.

Al Hi­lal, how­ever, grabbed the win­ner just two min­utes later with Khribin fol­low­ing a headed pass by Mo­hamed Jah­fali af­ter a cor­ner.

In Group C, Saudi Ara­bia’s Al Ahli con­firmed their place in the knock­out phase as they handed Iran’s Zoba­han a 2-0 de­feat.

Al Ahli took all three points to se­cure sec­ond place and set up a last 16 meet­ing with the win­ners of Group A, which was to be de­ter­mined yes­ter­day.

Af­ter a goal­less first-half, Ab­dul­fat­tah Asiri gave Al Ahli the lead in the 63rd minute and, with six min­utes re­main­ing, Amiri Kurdi put the re­sult be­yond a doubt when he slid in to score from six yards out.

UAE gi­ants Al Ain had al­ready qual­i­fied but they en­sured they topped the group with a 3-0 win over Bun­y­o­d­kor of Uzbek­istan.

Omar Ab­dul­rah­man scored one goal and con­trib­uted in the other two at the Hazza bin Zayed Sta­dium.

Nas­sir al-Sham­rani scored with a low shot to put the hosts ahead from an Ab­dul­rah­man pass in the 34th minute.

Ab­dul­rah­man then added his name to the score­sheet with a well-struck free-kick in the 77th minute be­fore Ibrahim Di­aky rounded off the win in in­jury time by head­ing home an Ab­dul­rah­man cor­ner in stop­page time. AFP

AFP PIC

Al Rayyan’s My­ong-Jin Ko (left) and Al Hi­lal’s Omar Khribin tus­sle for the ball in their AFC Cham­pi­ons League Group D match in Doha on Mon­day.

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