Both UAE representatives in the AFC Champions League were defeated on Monday.
Al Ahli conceded after just 18 seconds in a 2-0 defeat against Lokomotiv Tashkent while Al Jazira suffered a frustrating 0-1 loss at home to Esteghal Khouzestan
Here, we round up all the action from the second round of fixtures on Monday.
What are your thoughts on the games?
GROUP A: LOKOMOTIV 2-0 AL AHLI
Lokomotiv midfielder Salamat Kutibaev scored the second fastest goal in AFC Champions League history as the Uzbek side picked up their first points of the 2017 competition after a 2-0 win over visitors Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates at Lokomotiv Stadium in Group A on Monday.
After suffering a 1-0 reversal to Saudi Arabia’s Al Taawoun on Matchday One, 2016 quarter-finalists Lokomotiv shook off the opening day defeat in record time as Kutibaev headed home Marat Bikmaev’s left-wing cross in under 18 seconds of the match – an achievement bettered only by Sebastian Soria’s nine-second opener for Lekhwiya, also in Tashkent, against Pakhtakor at the 2013 edition.
Shell-shocked, the 2015 runners-up did respond and were kept out by some excellent goalkeeping by Ignatiy Nesterov but just three minutes before the hour mark Bikmaev went from provider to goalscorer and added Lokomotiv’s all-important second, slotting past visiting custodian Majed Naser after Sardor Mirzayev’s assist.
GROUP B: AL FATEH 2-2 LEKHWIYA
A stunning 86th minute Nam Tae-hee equaliser for Lekhwiya saw Al Fateh’s winless run in the AFC Champions League stretch to eight games after an exciting 2-2 draw at Prince Abdullah Bin Jalawi Stadium in Group B on Monday.
Youssef El Arabi had netted a third continental goal in two games to open the scoring for the Qatari visitors after his 19th minute header from Youssef Msakni’s cross, but Nathan Junior’s successfully converted penalty kick saw the sides go into the break all-square.
Al Fateh defender Sayyaf Al Bishi then took full advantage of ‘keeper Amine Lecomte’s failure to deal with Ahmed Al Mubarak’s corner to stab home from close range.
With time running out, it looked like the Saudi Arabian club would finally end a run of seven games without a win in Asia’s premier club competition, but it was not to be as Korea Republic midfielder Nam struck a sweet volley from just inside the area that arced over Abdullah Al Oaisher and into the top corner.
GROUP A: ESTEGHLAL 3-0 AL TAAWOUN
Two-time Asian champions Esteghlal of the Islamic Republic of Iran eased to their first win of the 2017 AFC Champions League after securing a comfortable 3-0 victory over Saudi Arabia’s Al Taawoun in Group A on Monday.
Esteghlal took the lead inside a minute at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex after the Al Taawoun backline failed to clear a long throw-in from the right and the ball eventually fell kindly to Kaveh Rezaei, who finished through a crowd of defenders from eight yards.
The Iranian side doubled their advantage with 20 minutes remaining when Al Taawoun again were unable to clear their lines following a long free-kick into the box and, after Jaber Ansari mishit his attempt, Mohsen Karimi was on hand to finish from six yards.
Omid Ebrahimi’s accurate delivery was then headed home by Brazilian defender Leandro Padovani with two minutes remaining to leave all four teams in the table on three points after Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv defeated Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates 2-0 in Monday’s other Group A fixture.
GROUP B: AL JAZIRA 0-1 ESTEGHAL KHOUZESTAN
Aloys Nong’s early strike ensured debutants Esteghlal Khouzestan maintained their 100% record in the AFC Champions League following a 1-0 win over Al Jazira in Group B on Monday night..
The Iranian visitors opened the scoring in the second minute at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium when Peyman Shirzadi’s throw-in from the left was flicked on by Arash Afshin to Hassan Beit Saeid, who laid the ball into the path of Nong to coolly slot home with the outside of his right boot.
Beit Saeid then struck the crossbar with a wonderful free-kick as the hour approached, before Musallem Fayez headed against the woodwork down the other end but Esteghlal Khouzestan held out to condemn the Emiratis to a second successive defeat and move two points clear at the top of the standings after Monday’s other Group B encounter between Al Fateh and Lekhwiya ended 2-2.