Pakhtakor FC sealed top spot in Group B of the 2020 AFC Champions League after defeating Shahr Khodro FC 1-0 on Matchday Six of the competition on Wednesday, the AFC official website informs.
Pakhtakor’s qualification to the Round of 16 was confirmed after Al Hilal were deemed to have withdrawn from the competition after failing to name the required 13 players for their match against Shabab Al Ahli.
The decision meant all matches played by Al Hilal are considered null and void according to Article 6 of the AFC Champions League regulations and therefore Pakhtakor and Shabab Al Ahli Dubai have progressed to the Round of 16 from Group B.
The only goal in the game was scored by Jaloliddin Masharipov in the 65th minute. Ceran came close to doubling Pakhtakor’s lead two minutes later after a well-worked move from a free-kick down the left flank that was played low for the Serbian who was positioned at the penalty spot but Ceran side-footed his effort just inches wide.
The result, alongside the annulment of Al Hilal’s achievements, means Pakhtakor end the group stage with 10 points from four games, finishing three points ahead of Shabab Al Ahli, while Shahr Khodro go home with no points and no goals.
The first two Round-of-16 fixtures have now been confirmed with Group A winners Al Ahli Saudi FC facing Group B runners-up Shabab Al Ahli Dubai and Group B winners Pakhtakor playing Group A runners-up Esteghlal FC.