AFC - Al Ahli Saudi FC confirmed their place in the knockout stage of the 2018 AFC Champions League with a 2-0 victory over Islamic Republic of Iran's Tractorsazi Tabriz on Matchday Five on Tuesday.
The Iranians started the brighter of the two sides and had their first chance 11 minutes into the game, when Mohammad Ebrahimi's volley went wide after a spectacular cross from Mohammad Iranpourian.
Brazilian midifelder Claudemir was stretchered off to be replaced with Waleed Bakhashwain in the 15th minute as the Saudi side struggled, allowing the visitors to threaten again - this time from a free-kick by Ebrahimi to Mohammadreza Mehdizadeh's whose header went above the bar.
The match sprang to life in the 19th minute when Tractorsazi were awarded a penalty kick after a foul on Amir Motahari by defender Aqeel Balghaith but captain Mehdi Kiani failed to convert as he his shot hit the right post.
In the final minutes of the first half, the hosts reassembled and began to create dangerous attacks as Taiseer Al Jassam delivered a pass to Mohannad Aseri who fired a shot that went high. Al Jassim broke through the Iranian defence but his attempt sailed wide off the far corner.
After the break, Aseri gave his team the lead through a powerful strike into the right corner of the net in the 49th minute.
Al Ahli cemented their victory with a second goal late on after Moamen Zakaria pounced on a poor defensive clearance to fire home in added time to confirm his side's qualification to the next round.
The Saudi side join Al Jazira in qualifying from Group A, while Tractorsazi will finish bottom of the group and are eliminated alongside Al Gharafa.
Comments powered by CComment