ACL: Iran’s Tractor Sazi on Brink of Elimination
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Tractor Sazi of Iran was held to a 1-1 draw with the UAE’s Al Jazira on Matchday Four of AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
The result leaves Tractor Sazi with two points on the brink of elimination.
Tractor Sazi started brightly and had a number of opportunities to go ahead in the first half, but were denied a goal by some stellar goalkeeping by Al Jazira's Ali Khaseif.
While the host enjoyed clear domination, it was Al Jazira who opened the scoring against the run of play, in the 44th minute. Brazilian star Romarinho latched on to an aerial pass from defender Musallam Fayez and slotted in the first goal of the match.
After the restart, Tractor Sazi emerged with renewed vigor and urgency but it was let down once again by a combination of poor finishing and Khaseif's continued brilliance. Ehsan Pahlevan, in particular, had a glorious chance after going one-on-one with the Emirati goalkeeper but skewed his shot just wide of the right post.
Ertugrul Saglam's men did not lose hope, though, and their perseverance finally paid off in the 78th minute, when Farzad Hatami headed in Pahlevan's cross to equalize.
The final few minutes saw Tractor Sazi bombard the Al Jazira box in search of a winner but the visitors held on to secure a point.
The result leaves Tractor Sazi on the brink of elimination, as it sits at the bottom of Group A with two points after four games. Al Jazira, on the other hand, has a tally of five points and remains in contention alongside Al Ahli and Al Gharafa.
Both teams will be on the road for Matchday Five, as Al Jazira plays Al Gharafa in Doha while Tractor Sazi faces Al Ahli away.