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LOKOMOTIV vs. FOOLAD FC 1-1

AFC – Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv claimed their first-ever point in the AFC Champions League after sharing a 1-1 draw with Iran champions Foolad Khouzestan on Wednesday.

A seventh minute strike from midfielder Oleg Zoteev had set Uzbekistan Cup winners Lokomotiv (pictured), who also finished second in the league last year, on their way after just seven minutes at Lokomotiv Stadium after the tournament debutants had lost to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal’s last week.

But with Mehrdad Jamaati netting a deflected strike 12 minutes before half-time, the sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils on Matchday Two in Group C.

The draw was Foolad’s second consecutive stalemate at the start of the new AFC Champions League campaign, which also extended their unbeaten record in the competition to 10 games having exited in the Round of 16 last year despite not losing a game.

Looking to bounce back from last week’s 3-1 defeat by Al Hilal on their AFC Champions League debut, Lokomotiv made the ideal start on home soil as Zoteev found the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty area after taking one touch to collect and turn from Lutfulla Turaev’s pass with just seven minutes on the clock.

Foolad, though, remained in the contest and equalised 12 minutes before half-time as Lokomotiv were only able to clear a right-wing corner to the edge of the area and Jamaati’s half-volley took a deflection off the back of Temurkhuja Abdukholikov and looped over despairing goalkeeper Mamur  Ikramov.

Both sides showed plenty of attacking intent in the second half with the goalkeepers at either end kept busy, but neither were able to find a breakthrough.