Doha, Qatar: Iraq’s Al Zawraa thrashed Emirati club Al Wasl 5-1 to wrap up their AFC Champions League engagements on Tuesday, a day which saw three matches being played and one postponed.
However, all the matches scheduled for the day were of only academic interest as the two qualifiers from Groups A and B were already decided.
While Iran’s Zobahan and Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr had already secured the two qualifying spots from Group A, the UAE’s Al Wahda and another Saudi side, Al Ittihad, had made the cut for the last 16 stage from Group B.
Tuesday’s match between Al Nassr and Zobahan in the Iraqi holy city of Karabala was however postponed by the AFC for security reasons that were not specified, although it is apparent that the ongoing political tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia had much to do with it.
"The AFC took the decision with the support of all parties concerned in the interests of safety. The AFC puts the safety and security of all stakeholders at the centre of all its decisions," the Asian football body said on its website.
"The match will now be rescheduled and the new date will be announced as soon as possible," the AFC statement added.
Earlier, Ala Abbas was on target for Al Zawraa twice as they bounced back from a goal down to thrash hosts Al Wasl in Dubai.
Abbas cancelled out Hassan Mohannad’s fifth minute goal in the 22nd minute and added one more in first half stoppage time to help Al Zawraa take a 2-1 lead into the second half.
Ahmed Fadl, Ahmed Jalal and Mohamed Abdulrahman added three more goals in the second half to complete the rout.
It was Al Zawraa's second victory in six matches which took them to third place with eight points, while Al Wasl remained bottom with just three points, courtesy of one win and five defeats.
In Group B, Qatar's Al Rayyan blew a two-goal lead to crash to a 3-2 defeat against Uzbekistan's Lokomotiv in Tashkent.
Both teams were already eliminated and playing for pride, but it was the hosts who showed more resolve, after going down by a goal as early as in the 57th second of play when Rodrigo Tabata took advantage of a poor clearance by Lokomotiv goalkeeper Mamur Ikramov and fired into the net from inside the box.
Tabata was in the thick of the action, but this time as provider with Gonzalo Veira heading home off his curling corner kick in the 22nd minute.
But Al Rayyan's defence descended into chaos after that as Lokomotiv, cheered on by their fans, began to dictate terms.
Sardor Mirzaev gave them a morale boost by pulling one back in the 35th minute before Temurkhuja’s second half brace ensured Al Rayyan remained at the bottom with just three points, while Lokomotiv finished third with seven.
Already qualified Al Ittihad and Al Wahda, meanwhile, drew 1-1 in Jeddah, with the UAE side topping the group with 12 points.