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AFC Champions League Review: Xavi double not enough for Al Sadd

Xavi Hernandez

Tashkent, April 10: Two goals from star player Xavi Hernandez were not enough for Al Sadd as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Pakhtakor Tashkent in the AFC Champions League.

The former Barcelona hero twice put the newly-crowned Qatar Stars League champions ahead in Uzbekistan, but Khojiakbar Alijonov and Dragan Ceran ensured a point for the home side.

The result keeps Pakhtakor top of Group D, a point above Al Sadd after three matches, while Persepolis moved into third with a 2-0 defeat of Al Ahli.

Holders Kashima Antlers secured a 3-2 win away to Gyeongnam thanks to a dramatic final 15 minutes in Changwon.

The Japanese side were 2-0 down heading into the final quarter of an hour thanks to an own goal from Tomoya Inukai and a strike from Jordon Mutch.

An own goal from Woo Ju-sung got Antlers back in the game, and although Inukai's miserable outing was compounded by a second yellow card, Takeshi Kanamori and Serginho struck a goal apiece in injury time to snatch victory.

They now lead Group E, two points ahead of Shandong Luneng, who beat Johor Darul Ta'zim 2-1 through goals from Marouane Fellaini and Graziano Pelle.

Jeonbuk Motors moved top of Group G by beating Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0, while Beijing Sinobo Guoan are level on points with the J1 League side thanks to a 3-1 win at Buriram United courtesy of Cedric Bakambu's hat-trick.

In Group B, Al Wahda moved top after Leonardo's injury-time penalty sealed a 2-1 win at Al Rayyan, while Al-Ittihad are also on six points after Fahad Al Muwallad also scored from the spot in stoppage time to see off Lokomotiv Tashkent 3-2.

(With OPTA inputs)

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Story first published: Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 1:50 [IST]
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