ACL Quarter-Final 1st Leg: Iran’s Persepolis to Face Al Duhail of Qatar
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Persepolis football team of Iran has a difficult task against Qatar’s Al Duhail in the AFC Champions League (ACL) quarter-final first leg.
The match will be held in Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium on Tuesday.
Al Duhail is aiming to add to its eight-match AFC Champions League winning streak when it host last year’s semi-finalist Persepolis.
Al Duhail and Persepolis both topped their groups and meet for the first time in their history after defeating UAE pair Al Ain and Al Jazira, respectively, in the Round of 16.
When 2015 AFC Champions League quarter-finalist Lekhwiya took over 2016 semi-finalist El Jaish, a new powerhouse was born. Al Duhail took the Continent by storm, winning all its games in the competition so far.
After easing to the top of Group B and qualifying to the Round of 16 with two games to spare, Al Duhail made light work of 2016 finalist Al Ain, putting eight goals past it across the two legs.
An unstoppable attacking force, Al Duhail has bagged 21 goals in the competition so far, six more than the next best West Asian side, Al Sadd. Only Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors scored more across the competition with 26.
Persepolis secured the Group C top spot with the meanest defense across the competition, conceding only three goals in the group stage, the-afc.com wrote.
Then came the Round of 16 and Persepolis conceded four goals in just two games against Al Jazira. A 3-2 defeat in Abu Dhabi followed by 2-1 home win in Tehran meant Branko Ivankovic’s men barely scrapped through to the quarter-final thanks to a late Jalal Hosseini strike.
Combining power and pace, Ali Alipour emerged as the side's main forward in 2017-18 season following the departure of Mehdi Taremi to Al Gharafa. He made an instant impact, firing his side to the Iran Pro League title and winning the top goal scorer award in the process.
Alipour has become even more important to his side's attacking play now after both Vahid Amiri and Farshad Ahmadzadeh moved abroad over the summer. The 23-year-old took 14 shots on target, twice as many as the next best Persepolis player and scored four goals this campaign.