Tehran Times - Al Ittihad topped Group C with a 2-1 win over Sepahan in their AFC Champions League 2023/24 match at King Abdulaziz Stadium on Monday.
Al Ittihad’s victory saw the Saudi Arabian club top the group with 15 points, while Sepahan finished five adrift in second place with their Round of 16 hopes hanging in the balance.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 15th minute in style, as Saleh Al Amri scored a sensational free-kick from the right side of the box. The forward’s first goal since August saw his curled effort find the top hand corner from range, where Payam Niazmand had no chance of saving it.
Three minutes after the re-start, Sepahan were level. A long ball into the box from Mohammed Daneshgar found Ramin Rezaeian unmarked at the back post who headed past Al Muaiouf to equalize.
The Iranian outfit continued to play to their strengths, looking to cross balls into the box from the left hand side, as Al Ittihad continued to struggle to deal with them in the second half.
However, it was the hosts who restored their lead with 20 minutes left to play. Goalscorer Al Amri cleverly turned away from his man before he played in Jota, where the Portuguese was able to prod home inside the box for his first AFC Champions League goal.