Sepahan Aims to Cement Lead in ACL Group D
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Qatar’s Al Sadd SC will aim to get the first win of its 2020 AFC Champions League campaign when it hosts Iran’s Sepahan FC on Matchday Two of Group D on Tuesday while Sepahan seeks to maintain its lead in the group.
The 2011 AFC Champions League winner came away from Riyadh with a 2-2 draw against Al Nassr on Matchday One, while Sepahan stunned Al Ain 4-0 in its opening match.
Last week, Al Sadd showed resilience to come back from a goal down inside the first seven minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw from a difficult Al Nassr side, with Hassan Al Haydos scoring early in the second half after an own goal had helped the Qataris equalize.
Since becoming the first Qatari side to win the AFC Champions League in 2011, Al Sadd reached the semi-finals twice - in the last two editions. For coach Xavi, the 2020 campaign might finally be the year it goes all the way to the final, but for now the next challenge is to overcome the high-flying visitor.
For Sepahan, Tuesday’s encounter offers an opportunity to cement its early lead in the group and put itself in a comfortable position, knowing it plays its last two games of the group stage on home soil.
The Isfahan-based side might not boast the history or the popularity of Esteghlal and Persepolis, but Sepahan is in fact Iran’s most successful side in the AFC Champions League, having appeared in the competition 11 times, reaching the final in 2007 - the first Iranian side to achieve this feat, which has since been replicated by Zob Ahan in 2010 and Persepolis in 2018.
The match will be held at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday.