Qatar’s Al Rayyan rally to beat Lokomotiv


Qatar’s Al Rayyan bounced back in style from one goal down to beat Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv 2-1 in the second round of 2019 AFC Champions League Group B at the Al Sadd Stadium on Monday.

Lokomotiv had collected all three points in their opening fixture at home against Al Wahda, while Al Rayyan were subjected to a 5-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad last week in Jeddah.

The visitors came racing off the blocks and stormed into the lead within four minutes of kick-off to the stunned silence of the home crowd.

Temurkhuja Abdukholikov outmuscled Rodrigo Tabata in the midfield to gain possession of the ball and exchanged passes with Jamshid Iskanderov before crossing for Diyorjon Turapov who tapped in at the far post to give Lokomotiv the lead early on.

It took Al Rayyan a few minutes to regroup, but they eventually did and started creating chances. Striker Gelmin Rivas tried his luck from long range, but narrowly missed the target.

Lokomotiv nearly doubled the lead in the same fashion as their opener, but Jovan Djokic’s final touch let him down as he sent the ball high from eight yards out halfway through the first half. 

Al Rayyan equalised in the 38th minute through Lucca Borges who received Rivas’ pass inside the box and rifled in at the near post to restore parity.

The Qatari side’s comeback was completed 13 minutes after the restart as Rivas turned from provider to scorer. 

Tabata’s long pass from a free-kick found substitute Sebastian Soria at the far post and the former Qatar international sent a drilled cross across the mouth of goal for the Venezuelan who was well-positioned to apply the finish.

Al Rayyan next host the UAE’s Al Wahda on April 9th, while Lokomotiv face Al Ittihad in Jeddah.