Iraq's Air Force Club won the 2018 AFC Cup after getting the better of Turkmenistan's Altyn Asyr 2-0 in the final at Basra on Tuesday.
Goals in either half from Hammadi Ahmed (22') and Ibrahim Bayesh (57') sealed a record third successive crown for the Iraqi side.
Ahmed was in the thick of things as Air Force Club came racing out of the blocks but an alert Altyn Asyr defence held them off quite well to maintain parity. However, it would be broken in the 22nd minute when defender Mekan Saparov failed to deal with a through ball and Ahmed latched on to it. He would apply a calm finish from close-range to hand Air Force Club the lead.
They could not add to the scoreline despite dominating the rest of the half.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Air Force Club would have their insurance goal though Bayesh. He rose highest at the near post to head home Sameh Saeed’s cross from a corner kick.
Altyn Asyr were given a chance to pull a goal back and work their way into the tie in the 64th minute when Saad Natiq handled the ball inside the box and the referee handed the visitors a penalty. But Selim Nurmuradov sent his spotkick well over.
Despite some late pressure from Altyn, Air Force Club would hold on to their lead and land a historic title.