FC Pakhtakor to struggle with Al Ahli Saudi FC for a spot in 2019 ACL Knockout Stage

With Al Sadd having already booked their ticket to the knock-out stage from Group D, Pakhtakor travel to Jeddah for what is essentially a cup tie against 2012 runners-up Al Ahli.

The Uzbek side sit second in the standings on eight points. A 1-0 victory over Persepolis in the previous matchday eliminated the Iranians from the competition, leaving Pakhtakor in need of one point in Saudi Arabia.

Their opponents, Al Ahli, are third place with six points. Only the three points on Monday will hand them a knock-out stage ticket for the second year running. The Saudis will be without international centre-back Motaz Hawsawi who has been ruled out for the season with continued illness.

Al Ahli and Pakhtakor met twice in the 2005 AFC Champions League, coincidentally also in Group D. Al Ahli won 3-0 in Jeddah with current club captain Hussein Abdulghani among the scorers, while Pakhtakor emerged 2-1 winners in Tashkent. Earlier this season, Marat Bikmaev gave Pakhtakor a 1-0 win on Matchday Two.

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