In a decisive encounter, Al-Ittihad Jeddah claimed a crucial 2-1 victory over Uzbekistan's AGMK in the fifth round of the Asian Champions League group stage. The match unfurled at the Metallurg Stadium, the Uzbek team's home turf, under the watchful gaze of Al-Ittihad's newly appointed coach, Marcelo Gallardo. This marked the second match for Gallardo, who had earlier drawn in his debut against Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi league.
Fabio and Mohammed Al-Shanqiti Assist in Hamdallah's Strikes
Al-Ittihad's Moroccan striker Abderrazak Hamdallah emerged as the hero of the match, netting both goals for his team. The first goal arrived in the 30th minute, following a long pass from Fabio, the former Liverpool midfielder. The second goal found its mark from a cross by Mohammed Al-Shanqiti. AGMK, however, managed to register a single goal, courtesy of Martin Boakye's strike from inside the six-yard box.
Gallardo's Tactical Acumen Guides Al-Ittihad to Victory
Notwithstanding the chilly evening in Uzbekistan, the match witnessed Gallardo's tactical acumen at work. Although the performance wasn't deemed a classic, it was enough to secure Al-Ittihad's progression to the next round. Al-Ittihad's victory over AGMK marks their fourth win in five matches, cementing their place at the top of their group.
Al-Ittihad's Journey to the Top of the Group and Beyond
With this victory, Al-Ittihad Jeddah sits comfortably at the pinnacle of its group with 12 points. They lead over Sepahan Isfahan of Iran, which has 10 points, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya of Iraq with 7 points, and AGMK, who are yet to open their account. This victory has not only cemented Al-Ittihad's position at the group's summit but also secured their progression to the round of 16 in the Asian Champions League.