Persepolis Out of 2023-24 AFC Champions League

Persepolis Out of 2023-24 AFC Champions League

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Al Duhail came from behind to beat Persepolis 2-1 in the final game of Group E of the AFC Champions League 2023-24 in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on Tuesday.

The Qatari side had already been eliminated going into its final match while Persepolis' slim hopes depended on them collecting the three points at home, with the defeat ending its campaign.

The game got off to a flying start in front of a massive home crowd on a cold Tehran night, with both teams finding the back of the net inside the opening 10 minutes.

It was the hosts who opened the scoring when Mehdi Torabi fed a short corner to Soroush Rafiei who delivered a right-footed cross into the box that was met by an excellent header from Shahab Zahedi to put Persepolis in the lead in the seventh minute.

Within just two minutes, Al Duhail restored parity. Almoez Ali sent a defense-splitting pass for Lotfi Madjer to chase on. The youngster looked to apply the finish but was denied by a heroic save from Alireza Beiranvand, only for the ball to fall to Mohammed Muntari who buried it home for the leveler.

Persepolis had the perfect opportunity to secure its place in the Round of 16 when it was awarded a penalty with 10 minutes remaining after Musa brought down Mohammad Omari inside the box, but Georgian defender Giorgi Gvelesiani hammered his shot from the penalty spot against the crossbar.

Things went from bad to worse for the host when Olunga went on a solo run from the right flank all the way into the penalty box where he calmly finished with his left into the bottom corner for his fourth goal of the campaign, earning his side the three points in Tehran.

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