ACL: Iran’s Persepolis Edges Past Al Sadd of Qatar
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Persepolis of Iran football team beat Qatar’s Al Sadd 1-0 in Group C of the AFC Champions League on Monday.
Backed by the Iranian fans in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium, the Tehran giants qualified for knockout stage as the table-topper.
Mohammed Ansari whipped in a tricky cross from the left wing and Al Sadd defender Morteza Pouraliganji inadvertently headed past his own keeper to give the host an early lead.
Needing just a draw to finish top of the group, Al Sadd pushed forward in search of the equalizer but it was not particularly effective, with only Xavi and Baghdad Bounedjah coming close to scoring in the opening half.
The visitors looked more dangerous in the second half and Boualem Khoukhi thought he had levelled the scores when he finished off Bounedjah's cross in the 62nd minute. However, the effort was ruled out for offside.
Persepolis looked comfortable defending their narrow lead and goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand had very little to do for most of the game, until a nervy final 10 minutes, when Al Sadd almost broke the home crowd's hearts.
This result means that Persepolis finished the group stage as winner of Group C with 13 points, one ahead of Al Sadd who go through as runner-up.
Persepolis will now face the second-placed team from Group A in the Round of 16, while Al Sadd play the winner of the same group.