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Play-off Central: FC Khujand 0-2 FC Ahal   

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
FC Khujand v FC Ahal - AFC Cup Play-off East

Khujand City: Turkmenistan's FC Ahal secured a spot in Group D of the 2018 AFC Cup after beating Tajikistan's FC Khujand 3-0 on aggregate, following a 2-0 win in the second leg of the Central Zone play-off on Tuesday. 

Both sides were equally matched from the beginning, but despite their best efforts, genuine chances were few and far between.

Myrat Annayev came closest for FC Ahal in the 32nd minute with his pinpoint free-kick but goalkeeper Aleksei Matrossov saved well to keep the game goalless at the half-time whistle.

Rovshan Meredov's side returned for the second half more focused and broke the deadlock just four minutes in when Wezirgeldi Ylyasov found the back of the net after a scramble in the box.

FC Ahal duly extended their advantage just three minutes later, Suleyman Muhadov making no mistake from close range to double his side's lead.

Annayev was to miss a 77th minute penalty, awarded after he had been brought down in the area by Matrossov, but it mattered little as FC Ahal progressed.

They will now open their Group D campaign against FC Istiklol on March 7, before facing FC Alay and Altyn Asyr.