ACL: Iran’s Esteghlal, Zob Ahan Ready to Meet Emirati Teams
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian football giant Esteghlal could increase its chance of advancing to knockout stage when it hosts Emirati team Al Ain in Matchday Four of the AFC Champions League on Monday.
Esteghlal will meet Al Ain in Group D of the competition in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.
Esteghlal will take to the Azadi Stadium pitch for the first time in the group after the sides played out a gripping 2-2 draw last week.
The Iranian team is two points clear at the top of the standings and is the only side to have won a game in the group, while Al Ain sits two points back, having drawn three from three.
Al Rayyan’s 1-1 draw with Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia meant they have also drawn all three of their matches, but a home victory in the reverse fixture would leave the Qatari side in a strong position with two games left to play.
Last year’s runner-up Al Hilal is currently at the foot of the table after two draws and one loss, but a win over Al Rayyan would mean a 10th successive knockout stage berth would be well within its sights.
Another Iranian club Zob Ahan will also play Al Wahda of the UAE at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi in Group B on Monday.
Last week, Zob Ahan’s win over Al Wahda propelled the team three points clear in second place and a third successive positive result would see it dreaming of a spot in the next round.
After claiming a 3-2 victory over Lokomotiv on Matchday Three, Al Duhail will confirm its passage to the AFC Champions League knockout rounds if it defeats the Uzbek champion in Tashkent on Monday.