Air Force Club stay on course for title hat-trick
Beirut: Reigning AFC Cup champions Air Force Club secured their place in the West Asia Zone final for a second straight year with a 5-3 aggregate victory over Al Ahed after a 2-2 draw in the second leg of their West Asia Zonal Semi-final on Tuesday.
Needing to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg, Al Ahed had the better of the early running at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, with Mohamad Haidar in particular looking quite threatening.
But against the run of play it was the visitors who took the lead when Iraqi international Humam Tareq threaded a perfectly weighted ball through to Hammadi Ahmad who made no mistake to put Air Force Club ahead after 23 minutes.
A defensive mistake from Hussein Al Zein 10 minutes later gifted Emad Mohsin a goal and gave Radhi Shenaishil’s men a 2-0 lead on the day and a 5-1 aggregate lead to all but seal their progression.
A thumping strike from the edge of the area by Mohammad Kdouh gave the home side a glimmer of hope and a second just over five minutes later from Ahmad Zreik breathed fresh life into Al Ahed.
But it was too little, too late as Air Force Club managed to see out the final 15 minutes without conceding again to set up a clash with Jordanian side Al Jazeera in the West Asia Zonal Final and edge one step closer to a historic hat-trick of titles in the AFC Cup.