Tuesday, 23, July, 2024

Tashkent based Lokomotiv midfielder Salamat Kutibaev scored the second fastest goal in AFC Champions League history as the Uzbek side picked up their first points of the 2017 competition after a 2-0 win over visitors Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates at Lokomotiv Stadium in Group A on Monday.

After suffering a 1-0 reversal to Saudi Arabia’s Al Taawoun on Matchday One, 2016 quarter-finalists Lokomotiv shook off the opening day defeat in record time as Kutibaev headed home Marat Bikmaev’s left-wing cross in under 18 seconds of the match – an achievement bettered only by Sebastian Soria’s nine-second opener for Lekhwiya, also in Tashkent, against Pakhtakor at the 2013 edition.

Shell-shocked, the 2015 runners-up did respond and were kept out by some excellent goalkeeping by Ignatiy Nesterov but just three minutes before the hour mark Bikmaev went from provider to goalscorer and added Lokomotiv’s all-important second, slotting past visiting custodian Majed Naser after Sardor Mirzayev’s assist.

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