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Esteghlal defeat Al Shorta to stay perfect in AFC Champions League [VIDEO]

Esteghlal Al Shorta

AFC - Islamic Republic of Iran’s Esteghlal FC cruised past 10-man Al Shorta SC of Iraq 3-0 on Matchday Two of the 2021 AFC Champions League Group C at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium on Sunday.

The two sides entered the game on the back of contrasting Matchday One results, with Al Shorta having lost to Al Duhail SC 2-0 while Esteghlal overpowered Al Ahli Saudi FC 5-2.

Jeddah: Islamic Republic of Iran’s Esteghlal FC cruised past 10-man Al Shorta SC of Iraq 3-0 on Matchday Two of the 2021 AFC Champions League Group C at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium on Sunday.

The two sides entered the game on the back of contrasting Matchday One results, with Al Shorta having lost to Al Duhail SC 2-0 while Esteghlal overpowered Al Ahli Saudi FC 5-2.

Al Shorta’s best opportunity of the opening half came 10 minutes before the break as Mohammed Dawood nodded a chipped pass to right-back Alaa Mhawi who hit it on the half-volley from the edge of the area but goalkeeper Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri was up to the challenge and made the save.

Just as the first half looked headed to a goalless end, youngster Medhi Ghaedi produced a moment of magic. Marked by two defenders out on the left flank, the Esteghlal starlet mustered a sublime scooped pass between his markers into the path of marauding left-back Mohammad Naderi who rifled home his second goal of the campaign to send his side into the dressing room with the lead.

The Iranians doubled their tally 10 minutes after the restart as Rezavand sent a defence-splitting pass to Esmaeili who controlled on the turn and powered past Taleb into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

Al Shorta’s woes were compounded in the 65th minute as Esmaeili turned from scorer to provider, feeding Cheick Diabate on the edge of the area. The Malian striker outmuscled his marker and poked the ball at the near post to make it 3-0.

A defensive mix up allowed Rezavand to go clear on goal and he was able to beat the goalkeeper but watched his ball ricochet off the upright and back onto the pitch.

With no points from their first two games, Al Shorta face Al Ahli on Matchday Three, while Esteghlal - with a perfect record - will look to extend their lead at the top of Group C when they face Al Duhail on Wednesday.

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