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Rivas gets Al Rayyan back on track in Asian Champions League

Doha (AFP) – Qatar’s Al Rayyan bounced back from their humiliating defeat to Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad last week to grab three points with a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv Tashkent in the Asian Champions League on Monday.

The Lions boast the largest fan following in Qatar but have fallen behind Al Duhail and Al Sadd in recent times lost 5-1 to Al-Ittihad last week, had to fight hard for the three points, coming back from conceding an early goal to win their Group B clash in Doha.

The Uzbek champions were looking for their second victory in as many weeks but after Diyorjon Turapov had given them a fourth minute lead – tapping in a Temurkhuja Abdukholikov pass – Brazilian Lucca Borges put the hosts on level terms with a powerful shot from Gelmin Rivas’s pass in the 38th minute.

Venezuelan Rivas then came up with a goal of his own in the 58th minute, finding the net following a cross from Uruguayan Sebastian Soria after he had collected a long pass off a free-kick from Rodrigo Tabata. Rivas had earlier missed narrowly from a long range effort.

Also in Group B, UAE’s Al Wahda thrashed Al Ittihad 4-1 in Dubai with three of their goals coming in the second half.

Brazilian Leonardo Souza scored the second and fourth goals for the hosts after Mohamed al-Menhali had put them ahead in the 16th minute. Ismaeil Matar also struck for the winners, while Nasser al-Shamrani scored the only goal for the visitors.

Meanwhile Iran’s Zobahan snatched a dramatic 3-2 stoppage time winner against Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr in Group A.

Brazilian midfielder Giuliano had put Al Nassr ahead in the fourth minute, shooting from close after receiving a low cross from Hamad al-Mansour at the Rashid al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

But goals from Mohamed Mehdi and Vahid Mohamedzadeh in the 30th and 39th minutes, gave the Iranians a 2-1 advantage going into half-time.

Al Nassr, however, grabbed the equaliser in the 58th minute through Abdelrazaq Hamdalla who scored from the spot after he was brought down in the box.

Hamdalla, who was previously with Al Rayyan, was again felled in the box in the dying moments of the game, but this time he sent the ball wide much to the agony of the Saudi fans.

Amir Motahari then compounded the Saudis’ woes by grabbing the winner in stoppage time off a corner from Hamid Maleki.

In another Group A encounter, Alaa Abbas struck twice as Iraq’s Al Zawraa made history with a 5-0 win over the UAE’s Al Wasl in the first-ever AFC Champions League match played in the city of Karbala.

Captain Samal Saeed took advantage of a poor clearance by Abdulla Jassim to score on the half-volley in the 20th minute as the hosts went ahead at the Karbala Sports City Stadium.

Abbas increased the tally in the 36th minute with a 30-yard shot after being put in the clear by Mustafa Mohamed.

Abbas struck again in the 51st minute before Mohannad Abdul-Raheem and Hussein Al-Jwayed completed the rout.

Last week Al Wasl had recorded their first Asian Champions League win in more than a decade when they beat Al Nassr 1-0 in Dubai.

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