Matchday Five - Group C: Al Ansar 1-1 Dhofar Club
Beirut: Dhofar were officially eliminated from the 2018 AFC Cup following a 1-1 draw with Al Ansar on Matchday Five of Group C on Monday.
Syrian international Tamer Haj Mohammed found space inside the Al Ansar area and crossed for Vinicius Calamari who attempted a first-time finish, but his effort was blocked by the Lebanese defence before Spanish midfielder Hugo Lopez pounced on the ball, striking with venom into the top corner to put Dhofar in front in the 15th minute.
The Omanis’ joy didn’t last long, as the hosts were awarded a free-kick on the left wing, nearly 40 yards from goal. Playmaker Abbas Atwi sent a curled cross into the box for Thaer Krouma who stabbed in the equaliser two minutes after Dhofar’s goal.
Dhofar had a golden chance to take the lead 10 minutes before the break, when Calamari latched onto a misplaced pass from Al Ansar goalkeeper Rabea El Kakhi on the edge of the area but failed to take the opportunity as he watched his strike cannon off the crossbar.
The home crowd thought they had found a winner when Atwi rifled in a free-kick from 25 yards, but the Lebanese international’s effort landed on top of the Dhofar net in the 53rd minute.
Al Ansar are second in the group with seven points, three behind Jordan's Al Faisaly. They will have to beat the group leaders by a three-goal margin on Matchday Six if they are to grab the direct qualification ticket from the Group C, having lost to the Jordanians 3-1 on Matchday Two.