DUSHANBE, March 13, 2013, Asia-Plus -- Al Shorta scored twice in a five-minute spell early in the second half as the Syrian champions beat Tajik counterparts Ravshan 2-0 on Wednesday to maintain their perfect record in Group D of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, the AFC’s website reports.

After a scoreless first half at Prince Mohammad International Stadium, Ali Ghalioum followed up to convert after Edmar Figueira’s 53rd minute header had been saved.

Ghalioum then turned provider shortly afterwards as he set up Qussai Habib for Al Shorta’s second goal as Mohamad Al Shaded’s side followed up last week’s 1-0 win over Kuwait’s Al Qadsia.

“It was a wonderful victory as it came after the effort that the players gave on the pitch,” said Al Shorta coach Al Shaded.  “Our players controlled the match throughout the two periods and we successfully transformed our dominance into goals.”

“We didn’t have a lot of information about our opponents and this meant extra work for us as we studied them in the first half while in the second period we managed to score two goals after we used attacking tactics.”

Al Shorta have been compelled to play their AFC Cup home games in Jordan because of the troubles in Syria and they took time to settle into their rhythm as Ravshan began the match well.

The Syrians gradually improved as the half wore on and went close to breaking the deadlock 11 minutes before the interval when Ammar Zakour’s shot from outside the box came back off the crossbar.

Al Shorta continued to dominate after the break and they took a deserved lead eight minute into the second half.

Zakour made a strong run down the right flank before sending in a cross that picked out Figueira. His header was stopped by Ravshan goalkeeper Rustam Rizoev on the goal line but Ghalioum was in the right place to turn the loose ball into the net.

Ghalioum then helped to set up Al Shorta’s second goal in the 58th minute as he fed the ball to Habib who went past a defender in the box before putting the ball past Rizoev to make it 2-0.

Ravshan had an opportunity to pull a goal back with seven minutes remaining when Davronjon Tukhtasunov’s cross from the left was met in the middle by Navrouz Rustamov but the substitute’s effort came back off the woodwork as Al Shorta hung onto their advantage.

“We played well although we were unlucky as we had a good defensive performance in the first half before two mistakes from our players in the second period gave the win to Al Shorta,” said Ravshan coach Ghayratali Mirahmadov after seeing his side suffer a second AFC Cup defeat after being edged out by Jordan’s Al Ramtha 1-0 last week.

“The players lack match fitness as they haven’t play any official matches in the previous months and the match against Al Ramtha and today’s match were the only two official matches we have played recently and this affected us negatively.”