Al-Ittihad scored its hat-trick in the first half through Haroun Kamara (11) and Brazilian Romarinho Dasilva (15 and 42 from a penalty kick).
Al-Ittihad topped its group with three points, leaving second place to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya of Iraq and Sepahan of Iran, tied 2-2.
Al-Ittihad, which missed its French striker Karim Benzema due to his injury before the start of the match, opened the scoring, specifically in the eleventh minute, when Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti shot a powerful ball that was blocked by goalkeeper Butyrali Irgashev and prepared for Kamara, who shot it powerfully into the goal.
Romarinho increased Al-Ittihad’s lead four minutes later when he took advantage of a rebound from a defender following a shot by Kamara, and followed it forcefully into the goal.
Al-Ittihad continued its pressure and almost scored the third goal when Moroccan international striker Abdel-Razzaq Hamdallah took advantage of a ball behind the defense from Romarinho. He started from the middle of the field and penetrated into the area and passed it to Al-Shinqiti, who was running without supervision. He shot it creeping, but goalkeeper Irgachev (21) blocked it.
Irgashev continued his brilliance and blocked Hamdallah’s strong shot from outside the area before the defense dispersed it (27).
Hamdallah successfully captured a penalty kick taken by Romarinho to the right of Irgachev, scoring his second and third personal goal for his team (42).
Al-Ittihad’s performance declined relatively in the second half, and the visitors almost reduced the gap with a shot by Spanish striker Ruben Sanchez that passed near the post (58). Al-Ittihad responded with a shot for Al-Omari, Hamdallah’s replacement, which Irgashev caught brilliantly (71), before the same player shot a powerful ball that bounced off the crossbar in the match. Overtime.
Al-Ittihad’s Portuguese coach, Nuno Espirito Santo, said in the press conference, “The victory was important at the beginning of the campaign.”
He added, “Benzema’s injury surprised me, but it is minor and there is no need for concern. The player felt pain hours before the match.”
In the same group, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya tied with its guest Sepahan 2-2 at the Francois Hariri Stadium in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region, in front of ten thousand spectators.
Ali Jassim (26 and 88) scored the goals of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, and Muhammad Danishkir (31) and Muhammad Qorbani (65) scored the goals of Sepahan.
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya took the lead through Jassim in the 26th minute with a powerful shot that surprised Sepahan goalkeeper Niaz Mandi.
The Iranian team was only five minutes late and equalized through Daneshkir (31).
Air Force goalkeeper Muhammad Hamid saved his goal from a goal by blocking a dangerous ball from Ghorbani (45).
Qorbani succeeded in giving Sepahan the lead at the beginning of the second half after he manipulated the Air Force defenders and shot a falling ball over goalkeeper Hamid (65).
Air Force coach Ayoub Odisho was forced to include striker Muhannad Abdel Rahim instead of Ahmed Soruri in an attempt to equalize at the very least, and he succeeded in his effort two minutes before the end of the match with a powerful shot by Jassim (88).
In the second round, on October 2nd, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya will play its host AGMK, and Al-Ittihad will play its host Sepahan.
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