Iran’s Persepolis Looks to Reach ACL Semis: AFC
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Persepolis football team of Iran will look to make a long-awaited mark on the Asian level when it takes to the pitch against Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia.
It will be a clash of two of West Asia's most popular teams in the quarter-final of the 2017 AFC Champions League on Tuesday night in the capital of the Omani Sultanate at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
Tehran giant Persepolis will look to make a long-awaited mark on the Asian level when the team takes to the pitch against Al Ahli. While the club did reach the semi-final of the Asian Club Championship in 1997, 1998 and 2001, it failed to reach the quarter-final of the revamped AFC Champions League before this year's edition, the-afc.com wrote.
The 2017 campaign saw Persepolis successfully navigate a tough group featuring Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia, Qatar’s Al Rayyan and Emirati club Al Wahda. Finishing second in the group, they took on Doha side Lekhwiya in the Round of 16.
After a goalless first leg, it would take an own goal from Lekhwiya defender Chico Flores in the second leg to take Persepolis to the quarter-final.
Persepolis has one man to thank in particular for getting this far in the competition and that is IR Iran striker Mehdi Taremi. Despite not scoring in the previous round, the forward has struck six times so far and sits in second place in the scoring charts behind Al Ain's Omar Abdulrahman.
The focus will turn to Taremi once again as the club aims to conquer further ground in Asia.
Although Al Ahli has never won an Asian title, it was the first Saudi club to reach the final of the Asian Club Championship, back in 1985.
Since that disappointment, Al Ahli has not made it past the quarter-final. This year, Al Ahli will attempt to correct that record.