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Air Force Club create history


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Basra: Air Force Club were crowned 2018 AFC Cup champions, lifting the trophy for a record third successive year after a 2-0 win over Altyn Asyr at Basra Sport City Stadium on Saturday.


The hosts came racing out of the blocks as Hammadi Ahmed found space inside the box and rounded goalkeeper Mamed Orazmuhamedov, but the Altyn Asyr defence recovered, forcing the forward wide. Ahmed laid off the ball for Ali Husni whose effort was blocked in the fifth minute.



Ahmed had a golden chance to open the scoring in the 15th minute when he received Ibrahim Bayesh’s cross from the right flank, but the Air Force Club captain’s shot was collected by Orazmuhamedov.



The deadlock was finally broken halfway through the opening period. Defender Mekan Saparov floundered his attempt to clear a through pass, and the ball reached Ahmed who applied a calm finish from close range for his eighth goal of the campaign in the 22nd minute.

Basim Qasim’s men dominated for the remainder of the first 45 minutes, but there were no clear cut chances on either side as the score remained in favour of Air Force Club.



Altyn Asyr started the second half with renewed impetus, threatening through Altymyrat Annadurdyyev whose effort from the edge of the box was tipped behind by Mohammed Kassid five minutes after the restart.



Despite Altyn Asyr’s best efforts, it was the home team who found the back of the net, cementing their position in the 57th minute as Bayesh rose highest at the near post to power in a header for his side’s second goal of the evening following Sameh Saeed’s cross from the corner kick.

The visitors were given a golden chance to come back into the game in the 64th minute when Saad Natiq handled the ball inside the box, prompting the referee to award a penalty kick. Selim Nurmuradov stepped up to take the spot-kick but blasted his effort well over the crossbar.



Annadurdyyev came within a whisker of scoring his ninth goal of the 2018 AFC Cup in the 70th minute. The Altyn Asyr talisman did well to control a long pass from substitute Shorat Soyunov, but his left-footed strike on the half-volley struck the side netting.



Late pressure from Altyn Asyr produced little in terms of scoring chances, as Air Force Club remained resilient to secure a historic 2-0 win on home soil to lift the third AFC Cup title in a row.



The visitors were given a golden chance to come back into the game in the 64th minute when Saad Natiq handled the ball inside the box, prompting the referee to award a penalty kick. Selim Nurmuradov stepped up to take the spot kick but blasted his effort well over the crossbar.



Annadurdyyev came within a whisker of scoring his ninth goal of the 2018 AFC Cup in the 70th minute. The Altyn Asyr talisman did well to control a long pass from substitute Shorat Soyunov, but his left-footed strike on the half-volley struck the side netting.



Late pressure from Altyn Asyr produced little in terms of scoring chances, as Air Force Club remained resilient to secure a historic 2-0 win on home soil to lift the third AFC Cup title in a row.