AFC - Persepolis FC defeated FC Goa 4-0 at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday to move within touching distance of the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 stage.
The Islamic Republic of Iran side’s fourth consecutive win means they have a five-point lead at the top and avoiding defeat against Al Wahda FSCC of the UAE on Monday will seal the 2020 AFC Champions League runners-up their place in the Round of 16 as the Group E winners with a match to spare.
Persepolis dominated the early proceedings against an FC Goa side that started with five changes from the team that lost 2-1 to the Iranians on Matchday Three.
Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh, midfielders Jorge Ortiz, Brandon Fernandes and Glen Martins were all on the bench while Edu Bedia - who scored against Persepolis on Tuesday - missed the match through suspension.
The Indian Super League side, however, got the first look at goal seven minutes in but forward Devendra Murgaokar sent his header wide.
Isa Alkasir should have put Persepolis ahead in the 23rd minute off a Mehdi Shiri cross into the box but the Persepolis striker couldn’t find the target.
FC Goa tried to keep the Iranians at bay but their efforts fell flat a minute later when Amarjit Singh lost possession, with goalkeeper Naveen Kumar unable to stop Shahriyar Moghanlou’s shot from settling in the net.
Naveen Kumar was under pressure again when he brought down Alkasir inside the box, with Mahdi Torabi sending the FC Goa goalkeeper the wrong way to give Persepolis a 2-0 lead going into the break.
The lead was widened further two minutes into the restart as Moghanlou turned provider, sending a deep cross from the left flank to Alkasir, who charged into the box before coolly slotting home.
Persepolis added to FC Goa's misery when they made it 4-0 after Kamal Kamyabinia thumped his effort into the back of the net in the 58th minute after Ali Shojaei’s header off a corner was blocked by the home side’s defenders.
While Persepolis will look to confirm their Round of 16 spot against Al Wahda on Monday, FC Goa will target the first win of their debut campaign when they play Qatar's Al Rayyan SC.