Al Jazira beat Mumbai City to get Asian Champions League campaign up and running

Shabab Al Ahli claim a third straight draw after a late equaliser from Federico Cartabia

Ali Mabkhout, pictured in action against Al Shabab, scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in Al Jazira's win over Mumbai City FC. AFP
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Al Jazira got their Asian Champions League group stage campaign up and running on Thursday after defeating Mumbai City FC 1-0 at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.

Winless after their first two matches, Jazira secured the victory over the tournament debutants thanks to an Ali Mabhout penalty in the first half.

Marcel Keizer’s men dominated the first half, registering 70 per cent possession by the interval, but struggled to create real scoring chances as Mumbai City sat deep and looked to hit on the counter.

Abdulla Ramadan created the first scoring opportunity with an overhead pass for Bruno, who controlled inside the area and drilled a low effort that goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz was able to deal with on 18 minutes.

Jazira earned their breakthrough when Bipin Singh was penalised for handling a shot from Abdoulaye Diaby in the area. Mabkhout duly stepped forward to give Jazira the lead they held for the remainder of the match.

The UAE Pro League side could have doubled their advantage early in the second half, but Nawaz saved well from Zayed Al Ameri after he got on the end of a Mabkhout cross.

Jazira are up to third in Group B at the halfway stage and next face Mumbai City again on Monday, before taking on Air Force Club next Friday and group leaders Al Shabab on April 27.

Shabab Al Ahli draw again

Over in Group C, Shabab Al Ahli drew for a third successive game after Federico Cartabia scored an injury time equaliser in a 1-1 against Al Gharafa at the Prince Abdullah Al Faisal stadium in Jeddah.

Sofiane Hanni scored for the Qataris at the second attempt after his initial effort came off the near post just before half time.

With time running out, Shabab Al Ahli’s Brazilian midfielder Gustavo made a fine pass following a counter attack to set up Cartabia inside the area, and the Italian made no mistake to find the bottom corner. Cartabia could have snatched a stunning victory for Shabab Al Ali in the 95th minute, but Yousef Hassan pulled off a brilliant save as both teams settled for a draw.

The Dubai club remain third on three points, two behind Gharafa and Foolad Khouzestan of Iran.

Updated: April 15, 2022, 9:53 AM
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