FC Pakhtakor to struggle with Al Ahli Saudi FC in Tashkent

Marat Bikmaev, back at the club for the first time since leaving in 2004, opened the scoring away at Persepolis as Pakhtakor eventually came away from the Islamic Republic of Iran with a credible 1-1 draw on Matchday One.

Pakhtakor, who have Odiljon Xamrobekov available again after suspension, have only twice faced Al Ahli in the competition – back in 2005 when they won 2-1 in Tashkent but lost 3-0 in Jeddah.

Al Ahli got off to an excellent start to their Group D campaign as Omar Al Soma scored a brace in a 2-0 victory over Al Sadd, and they followed that up with a 2-1 win over Al Quadisiya in the Saudi Pro League on Friday.

The Saudi side have not been beaten in a group stage match since April 2017 when, on their last visit to Uzbekistan, they suffered a 2-0 defeat to another Tashkent team, Bunyodkor.


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