The AFC Champions League Group D match between Al Hilal and Navbahor Namangan ended in a 1-1 draw. Neymar started for Al Hilal and made his AFC Champions League debut, but he was unable to prevent his team from dropping points in their first group stage match.
Navbahor took the lead in the 15th minute through a goal from Abdukholikov. Al Hilal equalized in the 35th minute through a goal from Michael. Both teams had chances to win the game in the second half, but neither side was able to find the winning goal.
The draw leaves Al Hilal in second place in Group D, behind Nassaji who beat Mumbai City FC 2-0 in the other group stage match. Al Hilal will next face Mumbai City FC on September 21, while Navbahor will face Nassaji.
Here is a summary of the match:
Al Hilal 1-1 Navbahor Namangan
- Navbahor Namangan: Abdukholikov (15′)
- Al Hilal: Michael (35′)
Al Hilal: Al-Owais, Al-Shahrani, Jang, Carrillo, Abdulhamid, Kanno, Neves, Malcom, Michael, Neymar, Ighalo
Navbahor Namangan: Yusupov, Khoshimov, Milovic, Yuldashev, Boltaboev, Dokic, Iskanderov, Urunov, Golban, Abdukholikov, Tabatadze
- 15′: Navbahor take the lead through Abdukholikov. The Uzbek forward receives a pass from Iskanderov and fires a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
- 35′: Al Hilal equalize through Michael. The Brazilian midfielder receives a pass from Malcom and takes a shot from outside the box which deflects off a Navbahor defender and into the net.
- 60′: Neymar has a chance to put Al Hilal ahead, but his shot is saved by Navbahor goalkeeper Yusupov.
- 75′: Navbahor have a chance to win the game through Iskanderov, but his header goes just wide of the post.
- 90′: The match ends in a 1-1 draw.
Al Hilal were the favorites to win the match, but they were unable to break down a well-organized Navbahor defense. Neymar had a quiet debut for Al Hilal, but he showed some flashes of brilliance. Al Hilal will need to improve their performance in their next match against Mumbai City FC if they want to qualify for the next round of the AFC Champions League.