Awal makes AFC Champions League debut

Soccer News of Wednesday, 4 March 2015


Awal Mohammed New

Mohammed Awal made his AFC Champions League debut as his new club side Al-Shabab managed a 2-2 draw at home to Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor in Group B.

Awal signed for the Saudi giants back on February 5, but didn’t feature in the club’s first group stage match as he was away on international duty with Ghana preparing for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

He made his bow in the competition on Tuesday evening, although will have been disappointed to have only helped his new side to a draw at home.

Al-Shabab took the lead on 35 minutes through Abdurahman Al-Khaibari, but fell behind just after the hour mark when Igor Sergeev equalised for the visitors.

A Kakhi Makharadze penalty gave Pakhtakor the lead less than 10 minutes later but Naif Hazazi was on hand to save a point for the White Lions inside the last five minutes.

The 2-2 draw leaves Al-Shabab in second place in the pool, two points behind Pakhtakor and tied with Asamoah Gyan’s Al-Ain.

Awal, wearing the number 23 shirt, played in his regular position in the heart of the back four in Al-Shabab’s 4-2-3-1 formation.

A product of the Feyenoord Academy, Awal spent time at ASEC Mimosas, Asante Kotoko and Maritzburg United before switching to the Riyadh outfit, who currently sit sixth in the Saudi top flight, earlier this year.

Another Ghanian at the club, former Sekondi Eleven Wise and Ismaily forward John Antwi, also featured in Tuesday night’s fixture.