NAMANGAN — Salem Al Dawsari made a triumphant comeback with a stunning strike, securing a 2-0 victory for Al Hilal SFC against Navbahor on Tuesday.

Despite missing two penalties earlier in the game, Al Hilal claimed the top spot in Group D of the AFC Champions League 2023/24.

The turning point came when Brazilian winger Malcom, subbed in from the bench, scored with his first touch, capitalizing on Al Dawsari's saved penalty in the 68th minute.

Al Dawsari redeemed himself by lobbing the ball from a distance with just five minutes remaining.

This win propelled Al Hilal to 13 points from five matches, securing a three-point lead over second-placed Navbahor.

The Saudi side is guaranteed to finish at the top, thanks to their superior head-to-head record against Samvel Babayan’s team.

Al Dawsari, recently named AFC Player of the Year, faced a challenging evening, missing a penalty in the 11th minute.

The penalty was awarded after Salman Ahmad Falahi determined that Jovan Dokic's handball blocked Sergey Milinkovic-Savic’s effort.

Despite Al Dawsari's earlier penalty misses, Malcom's quick reaction to score and Al Dawsari's well-judged 85th-minute lob extended Al Hilal's lead.

The disappointment for Navbahor deepened with Ibrokhim Yuldoshev’s sending off in injury time.

In the end, Al Hilal showcased resilience and skill, securing their position at the top of Group D in the AFC Champions League.

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