Wed, Feb 12, 2020 - Page 16 News List

Saudi giants Al Hilal cruise past Iran’s Shahr Khodro


Andre Carrillo and Bafetimbi Gomis were on target on Monday as Saudi Arabia giants Al Hilal began the defense of their Asian Champions League title with a 2-0 victory over Iran’s Shahr Khodro.

Al Hilal’s superiority was never in doubt, as they controlled proceedings from the start at the Zabeel Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

However, Al-Hilal struggled to breach the Shahr Khodro defense, with goalkeeper Mehdi Rahmati producing a string of some good saves in their Group B clash.

Just when it appeared that the deadlock would continue into the second half, Shahr Khodro, who are making their Champions League debut, caved in to the pressure.

Italy international Sebastian Giovinco cut in from the left and passed to Salem al-Dawsari, who in turn neatly set up Carrillo, and the Peruvian made no mistake with his half-volley.

Carrillo turned provider in the 69th minute when he received a pass from al-Dawsari inside the penalty box, squared for Gomis and then scored with a simple tap-in.

Shahr Khodro could have pulled one back, but Al-Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah al-Mayouf made a fine save three minutes from time to thwart a powerful shot from Milad Sarlak.

earlier in another Group B match, Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor edged out Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 2-1 in Tashkent.

Jaloliddin Masharipov became the first player to score in the tournament this season, as he put Pakhtakor ahead in the 18th minute with an excellent lob over goalkeeper Majed Naser, after having made considerable ground with the ball.

However, Pedro Conde put Shabab Al Ahli on level terms in the 67th minute after Youssef Jaber’s bicycle-kick was saved by Pakhtakor goalkeeper Eldorbek Suyunov, leaving the Spaniard with a simple shot from close.

However, Shabab Al Ahli could not take advantage of the momentum as Serbian Dragan Ceran restored Pakhtakor’s lead in the 70th minute with a low shot following a right-wing cross by Dostonbek Khamdamov.

Shabab Al Ahli had chances later, but Pakhtakor held on.

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