DOHA QATAR’S international Sebastian Soria continued with his rich form as he scored two late goals to help Lekhwiya beat Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor 3-1, in Doha, on Wednesday.
With the result, Lekhwiya has now toppled the Uzbekistan clubside from the top of Group B with seven points in the AFC Champions League.
It may be recalled that the Uruguayan-born Qatari striker was also on target twice over the weekend in the Qatar Stars League in Lekhwiya’s 4-1 victory over Al Arabi.
Issiar Dia set the Qatar Stars League champions on their way midway through the first half at the Lekhwiya Stadium only for Gulom Urunov to level the score for Pakhtakor, who entered the match with a perfect record after posting wins over Ettifaq and Al Shabab, before halftime.
However, Soria restored the home side’s lead with six minutes remaining before the striker sealed Lekhwiya’s second win in Group B in stoppage time.
The Eric Gerets’ side are now a point clear of the Uzbekistan champions at the top of the table with three games remaining.
Senegalese international Dia opened the scoring with a fine solo effort after 21 minutes as he created space for himself on the edge of the Pakhtakor penalty area before curling his effort into the far corner away from goalkeeper Temur Juraev.
Lekhwiya twice came close to regaining the lead at the start of the second half as a free-kick from South Korean midfielder Nam Tee-hee struck the outside of the post before Juraev had to be on his toes to push away a stinging effort from Luiz Junior (Luiz Mairton Carlos Júnior).
Nevertheless, with six minutes remaining Soria’s header from Luiz Junior’s back post cross looped perfectly over Juraev and nestled in the side netting.
In another match of the day, Al Rayyan, Qatar’s other campaigner in the continent suffered a 2-1 loss against Al Ain to stay at the bottom of Group D with a single point as the battle for a place in the knockout stage intensifies.
The Qatari side took the lead in the 32nd minute from Nilmar but the UAE battled back with a goal in each of the half to win the match at its home ground.
Younes Ali and Daniel Goma saw yellow cards for Rayyan, while Nasser al Kaabi replaced Fabio Cesar.
The David Aguirre-led side will host Al Ain in the corresponding fixture next Tuesday as they hope to win their first match in this season’s championship.