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Abdel-Shafy shines as Ahli Jeddah progress in the AFC CL
Already qualified Ahli Jeddah sealed their qualification to the AFC Champions league round of 16 despite the visitor’s goalless draw with Nasaf Qarshi of Uzbekistan in the final round of the group stages.
Egypt international Mohamed Abdel-Shafy started the game in the left-back position and contributed to the game through a goal-line clearance. Despite the host’s copious chances, the Uzbek team was forced out of the AFC Champions League, standing behind Al Ahli Dubai, who sealed a 3-2 win in the other game of Group D to progress to the Round of 16.
Nasaf knew they needed all three points to qualify and dominated the first half. The hosts first real chance came in the 17th minute when Ilkhom Shomurodov and Shohruh Gadoev each had a chance on goal, but Abdullah Al Maiouf made two heroic saves. In the 38th minute, it was Mohamed Abdel-Shafy’s turn to come to his sides rescue after making a goal-line clearance. Al Maiouf failed to clear a cross and the ball fell to Nasaf’s striker, who rounded the keeper, but Abdel-Shafy was in the right place at the right time.
The hosts continued their dominance in the second half, but failed to score. Near the hour mark, Shomurodov wasted a well-played cross by heading the ball wide. Nasaf had numerous golden opportunities to break the deadlock in the the second half, but they were either unlucky or denied by the Al Ahli’s keeper. Abdel-Shafy’s teammates redeemed themselves through two dangerous chances in the second half.
In the 70th minute, Abdurakhimov Bakhrom of Nasaf was sent off but the visitors weren’t able to capitalize on their one man advantage. Despite being a man down, Nasaf kept pushing forward but were unable to score a goal, leading the game to end in a 0-0 draw.
Al Ahli Jeddah topped group D with 12 points. Al Ahli Dubai and Nasaf Karshi were tied on points (8) and goal difference (0), but Al Ahli Dubai were victorious in the head to head comparison. Al Ahli Jeddah are awaiting the final results of Group B as they will face the runner up of Group B on May 20.
Watch Mohamed Abdel-Shafy’s clearance: