MUSCAT: AFC Cup title holders Air Force Club left it late to beat Oman’s Al Suwaiq 1-0 in Muscat to earn their first win of the 2018 campaign on Monday.
The hosts suffered an early blow as midfielder Fahad al Jalboubi was stretchered off to be replaced by Omer al Fazari halfway through the opening period.
Emad Mohsen nearly put the reigning champions in front in the 58th minute after he controlled and fired from inside the box after Sameh Saeed’s cross from the right, but goalkeeper Fayez al Rushaidi produced a top drawer save to deny the forward.
Coach Radhi Shenaishel introduced winger Karrar Ali in place of defender Mustafa Mohammed five minutes from time and his faith was rewarded instantly as Air Force Club’s No. 7 found the back of the net with his very first touch, firing on the half-volley from a narrow angle to beat goalkeeper Al Rushaidi.
Al Suwaiq host Jordan’s Al Jazeera in their next AFC Cup game on March 5, while Air Force travel to Bahrain to take on debutants Malkiya in Matchday Three. — AFC
Al Suwaiq and Iraq’s Air Force Club players fight for the ball at the Seeb Stadium.
— Picture by Mohammed Mahjoub