AFC Cup 2018: Group Stage Matchday Six Review: West Zone

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Al Zawraa suffered a heartbreak while the defending champions Air Force Club went through as group winners....

The AFC Cup 2018 witnessed intense action on Matchday Six in the West Zone. Here is a look at what we saw on the continent:

GROUP A: 


Malkiya Club 1-2 Al Jazeera (Alteyeb 38' - Al Taamari 21' Mardikian 56')


Jordan's Al Jazeera qualified for the West Zone semifinals after a 2-1 win away from home over Bahrain's Malkiya on Tuesday. 

Al Jazeera took the lead in the 12th minute when defender Gege Soriola fouled Musa Al Taamari inside the penalty box. The forward dusted himself down and dispatched the spotkick with ease. However, Malkiya were level in the 38th minute after a well-worked move. Sayed Ali cut in from the right and found Sayed Issa who picked out Welid Alteyeb in space inside the box. Alteyeb went on to find the net. 

Al Jazeera's Mardik Mardikian took advantage of poor goalkeeping from the Malkiya custodian to stab in a loose ball and give his side all three points. Though Al Jazeera finished second in the group, they went through as the best-placed runners-up. 


Air Force Club 2-0 Al Suwaiq (Radhi 37', 45')


Al Suwaiq slumped to their sixth defeat in the group after a 2-0 result against Air Force Club of Iraq who went through to the Zonal semifinals as the group toppers. 

Amjed Radhi opened the scoring for the Iraqis in the 37th minute when Croatian pair of Sebastijan Antic and Sanin Muminovic combined well before Muminovic found Radhi with a low cross from close range. 

Air Force doubled their lead when skipper Hammadi Ahmed was brought down and Radhi stepped up to deliver from the resulting penalty kick for his fifth goal of the campaign in the 45th minute. It was enough for the defending champions to go through as group winners. 

 

GROUP B:


Al Jaish 1-1 Al Zawraa Club (Ashkar 90+4' - Abdul Raheem 62')


Iraq's Al Zawraa suffered a heart-break as a last-minute equaliser from Al Jaish knocked them out of the AFC Cup on Tuesday. 

Al Zawraa, in a must-win game, took the lead in the 62nd minute after a barren first-half. After a smart one-two between Mohannad Abdul Raheem and Fiston Abdul Razak, the latter's shot was parried towards Abdul Raheem who turned it in smartly. 

The goal seemed enough to send Al Zawraa to the knockout stages but Ashkar finished off a cross late in injury time to dash the home team's hopes as they finished second with 10 points, two off leaders Al Ahed. 


Al Ahed FC 3-1 Manama Club (Kouyate 3' Mansour 54' Zreik 90+6' - Habib 25')


Lebanon's Al Ahed qualified for the zonal semifinals after a 3-1 win over Bahrain's Manama on Tuesday. 

The home team had to win the game and started off in dream fashion, as Idrissa Kouyate fired them ahead after receiving a chipped ball from Mohammad Kdouh. However, Manama pegged them back through Ali Habib who sent a swerving shot from distance in via a deflection in the 25th minute. 

Kdouh turned provider once again in the 54th minute as Nour Mansour headed in Al Ahed's second goal. They managed to hold off Manama till the end and sealed the win and progression through an Ahmad Zreik spotkick late on. 

 

GROUP C:


Dhofar Club 2-0 Al Wahda (Calamari 68', 89')


Oman's Dhofar club ensured they finished off their AFC Cup campaign on a high with a 2-0 win over Al Wahda on Monday. 

Both teams were already out of the reckoning for a playoff spot and the game showed the lack of interest. After a goalless first half, Dhofar took the lead in the 68th minute when Ali Salim Al Nahar's thunderous drive came crashing back off the post and an unmarked Vinicius Calamari converted. 

Calamari would seal the result in the 89th minute when after a stunning counter-attack as Al Wahda finished bottom of the pile. 


Al Faisaly 1-0 Al Ansar FC (Meha 15')

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Jordan's Al Faisaly booked their place in the AFC Cup zonal semifinals after a 1-0 win over Al Ansar on Monday. 

Al Faisaly dominated the game right from the word go and took the lead in the 15th minute when Alban Meha scored with a left-footed effort from outside the box which nestled in the bottom corner. 

Meha was the creator-in-chief for Al Faisaly and saw a second-half freekick saved. But it would not prove costly as Al Ansar could not find an equaliser and the Jordanians finished top of the pile in Group C. 

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