Draw dents Tractor, Pakhtakor's AFC Champions League chances

The result leaves both sides where they were in Group B, with Tractor sitting in second place on seven points while Pakhtakor sit in third on four points, with a final group stage match up next against the Air Force Club of Iraq while Tractor face hosts Sharjah on Thursday.

With Sharjah confirming their position as group winners with a 3-2 win over Air Force Club in Monday's late match, Tractor and Pakhtakor will hope that finishing second will be enough to take them into the Round of 16.

The two sides had shared an exhilarating 3-3 draw in their campaign opener earlier in the month, and both sides went into this game knowing only a win would do, but both defences looked far more solid than they were in that previous match.

The first half-hour of play saw both sides attempt to win a midfield battle that went neither side’s way, although a chance did fall to Peyman Bebaei early on having received Milad Fakhreddini’s pass, he sliced a tame, low shot wide.

Tractor v Pakhtakor-ACL2021

With five minutes left before the break, Tractor’s players broke forward and had a flurry of chances before Mohammad Khanzadeh’s shot was eventually blocked, resulting in a counterattack for the Uzbek side which saw Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok mishit a volley from close range.

Pakhtakor keeper Sanjar Kuvvatov was called into action early in the second half, when veteran Ashkan Dejagah received the ball at the edge of the area and blasted a low shot towards goal that the keeper fisted away.

Tractor v Pakhtakor-ACL2021

Pakhtakor missed two successive golden chances when keeper Mohammedreza Akhbari charged down Dragan Ceran’s shot, before Tractor’s defence failed to clear the ball resulting in a second chance that fell to substitute Sherzod Temirov, whose shot took a few deflections before ending up in Akhbari’s arms.

A few late chances fell to Tractor inside the final 10 minutes, with Khanzadeh heading wide before captain Saman Narimanjahan, who was later stretchered off, getting a chance inside the area after being fed in by Babaei but his shot was wide though.

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