Soccer-Nasaf progress to Asian Champions League last 16 with Al Sadd draw


(Reuters) - Nasaf sealed their place in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League as a 2-2 draw with Qatar's Al-Sadd in Doha on Monday took the Uzbekistan side into February's knockout rounds.

A late double from Jambul Jighauri proved decisive as Nasaf picked up a point to top Group B ahead of Al-Sadd, who took second spot after Sharjah from the United Arab Emirates slumped to a 2-1 loss against Jordan's Al-Faisaly.

Matheus Uribe had given former champions Al-Sadd a fifth minute lead when goalkeeper Abduvohid Nematov flapped at the Colombian's long-range strike but an 83rd minute header from Jighauri pulled Nasaf level.

Jighauri put his side ahead in the 90th minute with a delicate lofted finish but Baghdad Bounedjah swept in from close range to earn Al-Sadd a point.

The draw means Al-Sadd finish ahead of Sharjah, who imploded in Amman to crash out of the competition against already eliminated Al-Faisaly.

Mohamed Firas had given Sharjah the lead 11 minutes before the interval but a late collapse cost the Emiratis the chance of a spot in the next round.

Reziq Bani Hani levelled in the 90th minute and moments later Sharjah's Majid Rashid was sent off for a second bookable offence before Rafik Al Kamergi put the Jordanians in front.

A second red card followed for Miralem Pjanic as Cosmin Olaroiu's side finished with nine men and dropped to third.

Al-Sadd must wait until Tuesday for the outcome of the remaining games in the western half of the competition to see if they can claim one of the three best runners-up spots in the last 16.

Sepahan will also be keeping a close eye on those matches after their 2-1 loss against Al-Ittihad condemned the Iranians to second place in Group C behind the Saudi side.

Saleh Al-Amri gave Al-Ittihad the lead in Mecca with a dipping free kick in the 14th minute before Ramin Rezaeian levelled for Sepahan three minutes into the second half.

Jota slipped the ball through Payam Niazmand's legs in the 69th minute to earn Al-Ittihad a fifth win, guaranteeing them top spot in the group and leaving Sepahan sweating.

Al-Hilal, who had already secured their place in the next round, picked up their fifth win as the Saudi team handed Iran's Nassaji Mazandaran a 2-1 defeat in Riyadh in Group D with Michael Delgado and Salem Al Dawsari on target.

Navbahor from Uzbekistan defeated Mumbai City 2-1 to take second in the group and their tally of 13 points will be enough to secure one of the slots in the last 16.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Ken Ferris)

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