ACL MD4: Esteghlal Looks for Fourth Successive Win over Al Hilal
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Esteghlal is looking to beat Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia for the fourth time in a row in the AFC Champions League.
The Persian Blues will meet Al Hilal at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in Group C on Tuesday.
After two rounds of fixtures, Al Hilal looked to be in a strong position to advance to the last 16 having won both its games, while Esteghlal was still seeking the first win of the campaign after conceding late to draw 1-1 with Al Ain on Matchday Two.
When the sides met in Doha two weeks ago, the difference was five points and a win for Al Hilal would have made it highly unlikely that the Iranian giant would catch the team, but Esteghlal then blew Group C wide open by posting a 2-1 victory to move within two points of the Saudi team.
The result continued a recent trend in the fixture as last year Esteghlal claimed a pair of 1-0 victories over Al Hilal to progress from the group stage while the two-time runner-up exited after suffering a disappointing campaign.
On Tuesday, the sides lock horns once more in a potentially crucial clash in Abu Dhabi, where an Al Hilal victory would put the team back on course for the last 16. However, if Esteghlal secures a fourth successive win over the Saudi team it leapfrogs its rival in the standings and suddenly Al Hilal’s hopes of advancing will be in doubt.