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ACL Group C – Piroozi 1 – 3 Bunyodkor

21 April 2011 One Comment

Bunyodkor landed a decisive blow in the battle for Group C in the 2011 AFC Champions League after downing Piroozi 3-1 at the Azadi Stadium.

Anvar Rajabov put Bunyodkor in front with a thunderous finish on the hour mark before Hayrulla Karimov’s penalty nine minutes later, after substitute Alireza Mohamed had been sent off for hauling down Rajabov, doubled their advantage.

A horrible defensive mix-up allowed Shpejtim Arifi to pull a goal back with four minutes to go before keeper Ignatiy Nesterov pulled off a brilliant save to deny the same player in istoppage time. Bunyodkor immediately launched a counter-attack and Victor Karpenko scored the third goal.

Saman Aghazamani headed off the line following a corner after 21 minutes and Piroozi had a good chance four minutes from the break when a cross from deep was flicked on to Hadi Norozi. The forward held the ball up before laying it off to Mohammad Nori but he dragged a left-foot shot just beyond the far post.

Only a desperate last-ditch challenge prevented Kamoliddin Murzoev from adding a second before Bunyodkor did extend their lead in the 69th minute.

Azizbek Haydarov’s pass set Rajabov free down the left and as he drove into the box, the forward was pulled back by Mohamed, who was sent-off.

Haghighi managed to get his fingers to Karimov’s penalty and push it onto the post but unfortunately for the Piroozi keeper, it came back off his head and into the net.

Another forceful Rajabov run ended with the striker flashing a shot just wide as the Piroozi defence backed off before Haghighi saved Sasa Dordovic’s header.

Bunyodkor then gifted Piroozi a way back into the game with four minutes to go. An innocuous ball trickling towards the Uzbeks’ goal posed no threat but a communication mix-up between Nesterov and his defender allowed Arifi to slide in and score.

His anger was exacerbated seconds later when Bunyodkor immediately launched a counter-attack and with players queuing up to score, Karpenko calmly applied the finish.

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