Al Suwaiq claim AFC Cup spot

MUSCAT: Al Suwaiq claimed a spot in the 2017 AFC Cup Group Stage after a 3-1 Play-off second-leg win over Palestine’s Shabab Al Khalil earned the Omani outfit a 4-3 aggregate victory at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex late on Monday. Al Suwaiq opened their account thanks to an own goal by Moaman Egbaria on 25 minutes before Muhsen al Ghassani doubled his side’s advantage in the 48th minute to give Hakeem Shakir’s charges a healthy lead at the break. Al Suwaiq skipper Al Abd Saleh al Nofli then extended the lead on 66 minutes before Osama Shaban notched what was to prove merely a consolation for the Palestinians who had enjoyed a 2-1 first-leg advantage over their opponents. The Omani club are now in Group A of the AFC Cup with Iraq’s Al Zawraa Club, Al Ahli of Jordan and Syrian side Al Jaish keeping them company. Al Suwaiq, whose best performance in the AFC Cup was reaching the Round of 16 in the 2012 edition, will commence their campaign against Al Zawraa at Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar on February 20.

In Kolkata, Mohun Bagan booked themselves a place in the AFC Play-off Stage on Tuesday as a 2-1 win over Sri Lanka’s Colombo FC saw the Indian side secure a 4-2 aggregate success. Sanjoy Sen’s charges will now face Club Valencia from the Maldives on February 21 and 28 with a spot in Group E awaiting the winner. Buoyed by last week’s first leg victory in Colombo, Haitian forward Sony Norde, who was returning from injury, opened the scoring for Bagan on 28 minutes. Fellow striker Darryl Duffy duly extended Bagan’s lead with 56 minutes gone, before Balwant Singh missed from the penalty spot after Colombo’s Afeel Mohamed had handled in the area. Midfielder Seka Jean Yapo pulled one back for the visitors on 88 minutes, but it proved a case of too little too late as Bagan marched through to their Play-off encounter with Club Valencia who had beaten Thimphu City earlier in the day. — Agencies