Pavel Smolyachenko's brace inspires the Uzbekistan based team to a win over the Goans, who were reduced to ten men late in the game, after Ishfaq Ahmed received his marching orders
FC Neftchi, who had already qualified for the next round of the tournament, won the match 3-0. Smolyachenko, who was making his second appearance of the tournament, scored a brace and Anvar Berdiev scored in the dying minutes to ensure all three points for the home side.
Although both the teams went into the game looking for a win, it was Neftchi’s midfielder, Smolyachenko, who found the back of the net, taking advantage of a sloppy pass in midfield and after collecting possession, he advanced into the box and took a powerful shot which the away side's keeper was unable to save, in the first minute of the match.
The other 44 minutes of the half went goalless, as even after several attempts, neither team weas able to find the net.
Soon after the second half started, Smolyachenko put his side further ahead, as in the 53rd minute he found the back of the net as Nicolau Colaco was unsuccessful in his attempt to clear the ball near the corner post, which resulted in a cross to Smolyachenko. He placed the ball in the far corner of the goal leaving no chance for the goalkeeper.
The guests could not create many chances in the match and their fate was sealed in the 77th minute as Neftchi’s striker Anvar Berdiev scored from a quick counter attack.
Salgaocar who earned their first points of the campaign last time out against Al Arouba to send Neftchi through to the last 16, finished the match with 10 men as Ishfaq Ahmed was sent-off in the fifth minute of added time.
The win did nothing but boost the Uzbekistan based side's confidence heading into the next round, as they were already assured of finishing second behind Jordan’s Al Wehdat in the group.