AFC Cup 2020: Al Ahed FC’s title defence off and running after comeback win over Hilal Al-Quds


Defending champions Al Ahed FC mounted a comeback to defeat Hilal Al-Quds Club 2-1 in their AFC Cup 2020 opener at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium in Beirut, Lebanon on Monday.

The Lebanese Premier League outfit had defeated DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC 1-0 in the final of the AFC Cup 2019 held last November, but were stunned at their home in their opener by the Palestinian visitors who went ahead in the 15th minute.

Faik Mahamid turned in a cross at the quarter-hour mark to give Hilal Al-Quds the 1-0 lead, but 33-year-old Tarek Al Ali restored the parity for Al Ahed in the continental opener in the 55th minute.

The Lebanese champions then found the winner six minutes from time through Ahmad Zreik sending their fans into delirium.

Meanwhile, Bahraini Premier League runners-up Manama Club and Syria’s Al Jaish SC played out a goalless draw at the Khalid bin Mohammed Stadium in Sharjah, UAE.

The 2019 champions will now travel to Bahrain to face Manama in their next AFC Cup tie on February 24 while Hilal Al-Quds host Al Jaish in Amman on the same day.

Group B of AFC Cup also saw action on Monday with former champions Kuwait SC defeating Lebanon’s Al Ansar FC 1-0 at the Al Kuwait Sports Club Stadium in Kuwait City, thanks to a 17th-minute winner from Abdullah Al Buraiki.

Jordan’s Al Faisaly SC were held to a goalless draw by Syrian outfit Al Wathba SC at the Amman International Stadium in the other Group B tie.