(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Omantel League leader Al Suwaiq suffered its second successive defeat in the 2018 AFC Cup campaign on Monday when it lost 0-1 to title holder Air Force Club of Iraq at the Seeb Sports Stadium.Suwaiq, coached by
Romanian Ilie Balaci, had lost to Bahrain's Al Malkiya 1-4 in an away game of its opening Group A match.
It was Air Force Club's first win of the 2018 campaign and now shares the lead with Jordan's Al Jazeera with four points each.
Suwaiq suffered an early blow on Monday as midfielder Fahad al Jalboubi was stretchered off to be replaced by Omer al Fazari halfway through the opening period.
Emad Mohsen nearly put the reigning champion in front in the 58th minute after he controlled and fired from inside the box after Sameh Saeed's cross from the right, but goalkeeper Faiz al Rusheidi produced a top drawer save to deny the forward.
Air Force coach Radhi Shenaishel introduced winger Karrar Ali in place of defender Mustafa Mohammed five minutes from time and his faith was rewarded instantly as he found the back of the net with his very first touch, firing on the half-volley from a narrow angle to beat goalkeeper Rusheidi
In Amman, Al Jazeera sealed a hard-fought 1-0 victory at home over Malkiya on Monday.
Musa al Taamari's goal broke the deadlock for Al Jazeera at the hour mark. The striker's persistence paid off as he saw his attempt from Abdullah Al Attar's cross saved by goalkeeper
Abdulkarim Fardan before he followed through to find the back of the net.
Al Suwaiq hosts Al Jazeera in its next game on March 5.