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AFC CUP MD2 – GROUP C: ARBIL 0-1 QADSIA SC     12/03/2015 5:11:29 PM

Doha: A wonderful strike by Swiss forward Danijel Subotic helped holders Qadsia SC to a 1-0 victory against Arbil of Iraq in a repeat of last year’s final in Group C of the AFC Cup at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium on Wednesday.
Arbil, who lost 4-2 in a penalty shootout to the Kuwaitis after a scoreless draw in the 2014 final in Dubai, were looking to avenge last year’s defeat but despite performing well in the first period they were unable to breach their opponents’ defence.
And it was the visitors who eventually made their dominance count in the second half when Subotic (pictured) played a lovely give-and-go with Fahed Al Ebrahim in the 77th minute before finding the back of the net with an unstoppable left-foot strike from fully 25 yards to secure a second successive win for the holders after their 2-0 win over Turkmenistan’s Ahal FC in Matchday One.
“I’m extremely happy with the victory today because it’s an important win for us. We played against a good team who were well organized and that’s why we couldn’t get an easy victory tonight,” said Qadsia SC coach Antonio Puche.
“Our players had good concentration and our efforts were rewarded by scoring the winning goal and getting the three points from the match. This win will give us a big push especially as we put in a lot of effort to achieve it.”
After a bright start the hosts could have gone in front in the ninth minute when forward Luay Salah fired wide from 10 yards after good work from Ahmed Mohammed down the right.
The holders almost took the lead after half an hour when Subotic’s flicked header from Badar Al Motawaa’s cross was superbly tipped round the post by Arbil keeper Sarhank Mohsin at full stretch.
However, it was the visitors were on top in the opening stages of the second half, and forward Rashid Sumaila will have been disappointed not to have done better on the hour when a corner from the right eventually dropped to him but his left-foot strike from inside the box flew high and wide.
Puche’s side did take the lead with 13 minutes remaining, though, when Subotic played an exquisite little one-two with Al Ebrahim before unleashing a powerful curling drive which gave keeper Mohsin in the Arbil goal no chance.
Qadsia SC continued to dominate the game and nearly doubled their advantage with two minutes left on the clock when the dangerous Subotic cut in from the left but before firing his effort just wide of the left post.
But the visitors held on and now sit three points clear on top of the group with six points from two games, three points ahead of Arbil and Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol, who defeated Ahal 2-1 in the day’s other Group C encounter.
“We lost tonight because we lacked concentration while we were not lucky and couldn’t score from the chances that we created. We played against a strong team who are the defending champions but we still have a chance to comeback,” said Arbil coach Ayob Odisho.
“The match was even from the two teams and we nearly got a point from the match before Qadsia scored a late winner. We played well in several parts of the match but still we couldn’t win and hopefully we can improve in the next matches.”