Persepolis Beats Pakhtakor to Book ACL Semi Berth

Persepolis Beats Pakhtakor to Book ACL Semi Berth

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s Persepolis football team booked a place in the AFC Champions League semi-final for the third time in four years with a win over Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan.

A second-half brace from Issa Alekasir earned Persepolis a 2-0 win over Pakhtakor at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

Both teams were going into their third AFC Champions League quarter-final, a record for their respective nations, and both boasted mean defenses, with Persepolis conceding just once in their last five games and Pakhtakor once in their last four.

Pakhtakor suffered a huge blow just 15 minutes into the match when talisman Jaloliddin Masharipov saw straight red following a challenge on Kamal Kamyabinia.

Jordanian referee Adham Makhadmeh referred to VAR before sending Masharipov off, making it the first VAR-reviewed red card in the history of the AFC Champions League after the introduction of the technology at the quarter-final stage of the competition.

Four minutes into the second half, Hossein Kanaani supplied a through pass for Siamak Nemati down the right and the number 88 squared for Alekasir who converted first time past Eldorbek Suyunov to put Persepolis in the lead.

Persepolis doubled its extend in the 66th minute and again it was Alekasir on the scoresheet. The striker got on the end of a Bashar Resan cross, beating goalkeeper Suyunov at the near post for his fourth goal of the 2020 AFC Champions League.

The result means Persepolis will meet Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr in the semi-final on Saturday, having faced its city rival Al-Hilal SFC at the same stage in 2018 and going on to reach the final.

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