Shabab Al Ahli Dubai power past AGMK FC to revive AFC Champions League hopes

The win took Shabab Al Ahli to four points to keep them within sight of Round of 16 qualification with matches against FC Istiklol of Tajikistan and Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal SFC to come.

Istiklol, who stunned Al Hilal 4-1 on Saturday, lead the group on seven points with the Saudi side second on goal difference. AGMK are on four points.

Shabab Al Ahli, whose tournament hopes were on the line, kicked off the match cautiously while AGMK - buoyed by their Matchday Three win against the opponents - pressed from the first blow of the whistle, only for it to backfire when the Emiratis scored from a counter-attack in the third minute.

Harib Abdalla beat the offside trap to collect Jaloliddin Masharipov’s long-range cross, and the striker finished off his incredible run into the box with a right-footed strike to open the scoring.

Harib Abdalla Suhail-Shabab Al Ahli Dubai v AGMK-ACL2021

Shabab Al Ahli then went on the prowl for more goals with Ahmed Al Attas coming close in the seventh minute with a header, before Carlos Eduardo stunned the Uzbek side with his overhead kick after he was left unmarked in the area to make it 2-0 on 11 minutes.

AGMK, however, narrowed the deficit three minutes later when the Shabab Al Ahli defence was caught off guard by a quick free-kick from just outside the box that saw Dilshodbek Akhmadeliev’s cross finding Shohruh Gadoev, who slotted home from close range.

Carlos Eduardo-Shabab Al Ahli Dubai v AGMK-ACL2021

The back-and-forth encounter at the King Fahd International Stadium continued, but a defensive mistake by AGMK’s Boburbek Yuldashov at the half-hour mark allowed Masharipov to intercept the ball in the final third with Ahmed Alhashmi finishing off the pass to restore Shabab Al Ahli’s two-goal advantage.

Shabab Al Ahli continued to dominate possession but AGMK had their fair share of attempts with Sanjar Tursunov coming closest in the 35th minute with his shot from long range just whizzing past the post as Mahdi Ali’s Shabab Al Ahli took a healthy advantage into the break.

Ahmed Al Hashmi-Shabab Al Ahli Dubai v AGMK-ACL2021

Shabab Al Ahli could have extended their lead further two minutes into the second half but Al Hasmi just failed to connect to Masharipov’s cross.

Having come from behind to defeat Shabab Al Ahli on Matchday Three, AGMK refused to throw in the towel as they pressed forward but failed to convert their chances, with Jovan Djokic’s 58th minute strike parried away by ‘keeper Majed Naser, before Aleksandr Kasyan failed to keep his header on target two minutes later.

Shabab Al Ahli Dubai v AGMK-ACL2021

But it was not to be for the Uzbek side as Shabab Al Ahli held on to secure the points with Tuesday's Matchday Five now tantasilingly poised with Shabab Al Ahli to face Istiklol while AGMK will take on 2019 winners Al Hilal.

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