Al Suwaiq, Dhofar seek to revive AFC Cup fortunes

MUSCAT: Omani clubs Al Suwaiq and Dhofar will seek to turn around their dismal show in the AFC Cup Group A and C third round fixtures on Monday.
In a home match, Al Suwaiq take on Jordan club Al Jazeera in Group A at Seeb Sports Stadium at 7 pm.
Dhofar will meet another Jordan club Al Faisaly at Amman International Stadium, Amman, in an away Group C encounter.
Holders Air Force Club left it late to claim their first win of the competition last week as Karrar Ali’s goal with five minutes to play saw off Al Suwaiq at the Seeb Stadium.
On Monday, the Iraqi side will welcome goalkeeper Fahad Talib back from suspension for the game with Bahrain’s Malkiya Club, who also defeated Al Suwaiq in their tournament debut two weeks ago but lost 1-0 to Jordan’s Al Jazeera last week.
Al Jazeera have begun their campaign strongly and Musa Al Taamari’s goal on the hour last week secured all three points against Malkiya as they moved to the top of the Group A standings.
Goalkeeper Abdallah Al Zubi returns from suspension for the Jordanian team when they travel to Al Suwaiq, who will be desperate to get their first points on the board after suffering back-to-back defeats.
The second Oman team in the tournament, Dhofar will be eager to score their first goal.
Al Faisaly lead the way in Group C after posting a 3-1 away win against Lebanon’s Al Ansar last week, and the Jordanian side will look to cement their place at the top when they host Dhofar Club on Monday.
Dhofar played out a scoreless draw with Syria’s Al Wahda last week but have still yet to score in the competition and currently prop up the group as the midway point approaches.
Al Ansar’s defeat to Al Faisaly saw the Lebanese side slip to second in the table and they will look to return to winning ways against third-placed Al Wahda.
West Zone finalists last year, Al Wahda have posted successive draws at the start of the current campaign, and will be without the suspended Muayad al Khouli on Monday.
Al Ahed secured their first win of the campaign thanks to Ahmad Zreik’s goal in a 1-0 victory over Bahrain’s Manama Club last week, and top Group B ahead of the visit of Syria’s Al Jaish on Tuesday.
The Lebanese side will welcome back Issah Yakuba from suspension for the clash with Al Jaish, whose scoreless draw with Iraq’s Al Zawraa was their second successive 0-0 stalemate in the competition.
The match between second-placed Al Zawraa and Manama, meanwhile, has been rescheduled to April 16.