Two goals from Fahad Al Muwallad helped Al-Ittihad clinch a 5-1 victory over Al Rayyan in their AFC Champions League Group B opener, sending the hosts to the top of the table as they put their domestic struggles to one side.
Participating in the competition for the 10th time, the Saudi Arabian outfit went into the game having won five of their six previous matches against Qatari teams and continued their strong record with a resounding victory.
After Gonzalo Viera put the visitors in front in the 23rd minute, Al-Ittihad upped their game and struck twice in quick succession on the cusp of half-time through Al Muwallad and Abdulaziz Al Aryani to flip the scoreline on its head.
Ziyad Al Sahafi netted three minutes into the second half before a penalty converted by Abdulrahman Al-Ghamdi and Al Muwallad’s second of the game wrapped up the rout.
Elsewhere in Group B, Lokomotiv Tashkent made a bright start to their campaign by beating Al Wahda 2-0 at home.
Temurkhuja Abdukholikov opened the scoring after just five minutes and victory was secured by captain Islom Tukhtakhujaev in second-half stoppage time.
Brazilian midfielder Fabio Lima scored his third goal in as many games to clinch a 1-0 win for Al Wasl over Al-Nassr in Group A, settling the first meeting between the two sides in the competition with a coolly taken 62nd-minute penalty.
In Group A’s other match, Zob Ahan were held to a goalless draw at home by Al Zawra’a, extending the hosts’ winless run in group-stage matches to four.
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