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Al Hilal down Al Rayyan to stay perfect in Asian Champions League

Al Hilal down Al Rayyan to stay perfect in Asian Champions League
April 12, 2022 Web Desk

HON - Defending champions Al Hilal handed Qatar's Al Rayyan a 3-0 defeat in Riyadh on Monday to maintain their perfect start to the group phase of the Asian Champions League.

Saudi Arabia international striker Abdullah Al Hamdan smashed home the opener in the 27th minute before Mohammed Kanno doubled the lead four minutes into the second half when he set himself up to volley past goalkeeper Fahad Baker.

Nasser Al Dawsari put the result beyond doubt with a deflected effort three minutes from time to ensure Al Hilal completed back-to-back wins in Group A.

The four-time champions lead the early standings by three points from Al Rayyan and Sharjah after the side from the United Arab Emirates came back to win 2-1 against Istiklol.

Manuchekhr Dzhalilov gave the Tajikistan champions a 29th minute lead only for two goals in three second-half minutes from Caio Lucas and Bernard to swing the game in Sharjah's favour.

Mumbai City became the first club from India to register a win in the group phase of the competition as Des Buckingham's side came from behind to defeat Air Force Club from Iraq 2-1 in Group B.

Hammadi Ahmad had put the Iraqis in front just before the hour mark but Diego Mauricio's 70th minute penalty was followed five minutes later by the winner from Rahul Bheke.

The win means Mumbai City move level on three points with Air Force Club and are three adrift of Saudi Arabia's Al Shabab, who picked up their second win in a row with a 3-0 victory over Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates.

In Group E, Marko Stanojevic scored twice to earn Nasaf Qarshi a 2-0 win over Al Wehdat from Jordan that moved the Uzbek club onto four points from their opening two games.

They are joined at the top of the standings by Al Faisaly from Saudi Arabia, who defeated Qatar's Al Sadd 2-1 in Dammam, with Julio Tavares scoring the winner eight minutes into the second half.

Matches in the western half of the Asian Champions League are being played in biosecure centralised hubs in Saudi Arabia due to the pandemic.

Only the winners of the five groups are guaranteed to advance to the next round, where they will be joined by the three runners-up with the best records.