DUBAI // Murod Ismailov, the Pakhtakor coach, said the best team lost after his side took three points off Al Shabab in the Asian Champions League last night.
And the Uzbek was disappointed with the quality of his players' performance.
Shabab created a number of opportunities, but failed to convert them and their profligacy came back to haunt them when Jamshid Iskanderov found the target in the 85th minute.
There were seven Shabab players inside the box, but the Uzbek somehow managed to squeeze the ball past them.
This was Pakhtakor's second win from as many Group B matches after they defeated Saudi Arabia's Al Ettifaq 1-0 in their opening game.
Shabab, on the other hand, have yet to open their account, having lost their first game 2-1 at Lekhwiya.
"We won the game, but honestly Shabab played better than my team," Ismailov said.
"They had a lot of chances to score, but I think my team played right in every situation.
"I believe we were luckier than Shabab.
"But I have to say I am not satisfied with the quality of our play tonight.
"We have just started the season and we seem to have a few problems. So we need to work hard and improve the quality of our game."
Marcos Paqueta, the Shabab coach, shared that opinion and said: "This is the second or third time the team has played very good, very courageous football and lost the game.
"This is the reason why football is the number one sport in the world.
"It's not always the best team that wins the matches.
"So while, I am not happy with the result, I am happy with the performance of my players.
It was not a fair result but in football there is no justice - you either win or you lose."
Shabab, who were beaten 2-0 at home by Al Dhafra in the Pro League last week, made a circumspect start and Pakhtakor tried to use that to their advantage, but Salem Abdullah, the Shabab keeper, did well to keep a clean sheet in the first half.
His toughest tests came in the 16th minute, when Kilichev Oybek curled in a free kick, and then three minutes later, Merzlyakov Alexsandr's had Abdullah diving to his right to keep out the ball.
The best chance of the first half, however, came Shabab's way, in the 33rd minute, but Essa Obaid missed the easiest of headers.
He was just a metre away from the goal-line when Luiz Henrique's shot bounced off the Pakhtakor keeper towards him, but the bearded striker nodded it wide.
The second half saw the hosts shift gears, but with Edgar Bruno looking out of sorts, they were missing the final touch. They were unlucky as well in the 67th minute when Henrique's attempt bounced just inches outside the goal-line after ricocheting off the underside of the crosspiece.
Obaid tried to head in the rebound, but the Pakhtakor goalkeeper Lobanov Alexander managed to palm the ball over.
[ @SprtNationalUAE ]