Persepolis, Esteghlal Create Memorable Quarter-finals in ACL
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-finals are sure to bring plenty of excitement for the Continent's football fans.
Ahead of those much-anticipated ties, the-AFC.com has highlighted five last eight ties that are worth reviewing and savoring.
Buriram of Thailand against Esteghlal and Persepolis against Al Duhail are among the clashes from the past editions to enjoy.
*Buriram vs Esteghlal (2013)
A fascinating battle between two sides at their peak, and ultimately settled by what was voted by the-AFC.com's fans as the best goal in AFC Champions League history.
Khosro Heydari got things off to a special start at the Azadi Stadium with a cross-cum-shot that looped spectacularly in off the far post to delight the over 95,000 fans in attendance – and there were even more amazing strikes to come.
In the return meeting in Thailand the plot thickened not long before half-time when Spaniard Osmar Barba tied the scores. Hanif Omranzadeh then put the ball back in Esteghlal's court with a 53-minute leveler.
But in stoppage time came the moment the match will be remembered for when Andranik Teymourian unleashed a screaming effort from close to 40 yards out that rocketed into the top corner.
* Persepolis vs Al Duhail (2018)
A recent one, from last year's tournament, but another impressive comeback made even more stirring by the packed Azadi Stadium, among the biggest and most passionate venues for football on the Continent.
Qatar's Al Duhail had enjoyed a stunning campaign ahead of the first leg in Doha, winning eight games in a row, and it proved no different against the Iranians at Khalifa International Stadium with an Almoez Ali strike making it a ninth victory in succession. But the run was to end three weeks later.
A cacophonous crowd welcomed the sides at the Tehran-based cauldron, but it was the visitors who struck first, momentarily silencing the din, as Karim Boudiaf fired home just on 33 minutes.
Due to the away goal rule, Persepolis required three goals to win and as the clock crept towards the hour mark they were yet to make the breakthrough, until their captain Jalal Hosseini pulled one back on the 57th minute.
Sultan Al Brake conceded an own goal a little under 20 minutes later and the volume at the Azadi went up several decibels. And in response to their crowd, Persepolis found their winner. Godwin Mensha took advantage of some errors at the back before coolly rounding Amine Lecomte to seal a stunning comeback.