06 apr 12:30
ACL MD4 - GROUP D: NASAF 0-0 EL JAISH
The home side edged a first half of few opportunities at Karshi Central Stadium with captain Artur Gevorkyan’s effort in the opening stages the closest they came to breaking the deadlock.
But despite controlling the game after the interval, Nasaf were unable to beat goalkeeper Khalifa Abubacar in the El Jaish goal as the Qataris remained unbeaten in the continental competition ahead of their double header with Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli while Nasaf will twice face off against Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates as Group D is set to reach an exciting climax.
"I am satisfied with our performance and result as Nasaf are a strong team," said El Jaish coach Sabri Lamouchi.
"We didn’t score a goal, but didn't concede also. Nasaf did not have the players in their forward line to beat us.
"Our plan was for victory, but the minimum target was to take point. We will focus on the next games and then think about next stage."
The hosts had the first effort of the game in the opening minute when Turkmenistan international Gevorkyan cut into the box from the right before lashing a low shot from the edge of the area straight at Ababacar.
El Jaish controlled much of the possession in the ensuing 30 minutes but failed to threaten the Nasaf goal with their own Uzbekistan forward, Sardor Rashidov, firing over as the half-hour mark approached.
Bakhrom Abdurakhimov then received a short ball from Erkin Baydullaev with his back to goal before turning and firing wide on the half-volley shortly after.
And as half-time neared, a mix up in the Nasaf defence between Maksud Karimov and Shukhrat Mukhammadiev almost allowed forward Abderrazzaq Hamedallah in but goalkeeper Eldorbek Suyunov was out quickly to thwart the Moroccan.
Nasaf then had the best chance of the game four minutes after the restart, but Azamat Allaniyozov’s powerful header at the back post from Saydullo Rakhmatov’s deep cross from the left went straight at Ababacar.
The home side again came close with 15 minutes remaining when Gevorkyan broke down the right and cut into the penalty area before crossing low to substitute Bobir Abdixolikov, but the El Jaish custodian was again on hand to block his near-post effort.
And the lively Turkmen’s diving header at the back post in the final five minutes was then easily gathered by Ababacar as Nasaf were unable to make their superior second-half possession count.
"The result was not good for us and we couldn't achieve the positive outcome we wanted," said Nasaf coach Ruzikul Berdiev.
"We had problems in our attacking line today. We made a lot of mistakes and our passing was not up to standard. I think perhaps my players felt the pressure of this important match.
"We will continue to battle in the next games and will work harder to achieve victory."