Late penalty earns Estegh­lal vic­tory

New Straits Times - - Sport -

HONG KONG: Iran’s Estegh­lal claimed a 1-0 win over Al Ain of the United Arab Emi­rates with Kaveh Rezaei’s last-gasp penalty in the first leg of their Asian Cham­pi­ons League last 16 tie on Mon­day.

Both teams were re­duced to 10 men in the fi­nal quar­ter of the clash fol­low­ing the dis­missals of Al Ain’s Saeed Juma and Farshid Es­maeili of Estegh­lal in sep­a­rate in­ci­dents.

Al Ahli Saudi re­cov­ered from a goal be­hind to draw 1-1 with Al Ahli of the UAE thanks to a strike seven min­utes be­fore half­time by Ab­dul­fat­tah Asiri in their first leg.

In Tehran, Al Ain — fi­nal­ists last year and cham­pi­ons in 2003 — strug­gled with­out their Saudi Ara­bia in­ter­na­tional Nasser Al Sham­rani in a game of few chances.

The 33-year-old for­ward had to stay be­hind in the UAE af­ter be­ing un­able to gain en­try to Iran due to a diplo­matic im­passe be­tween the Saudis and Ira­ni­ans.

Asian Player of the Year Omar Ab­dul­rah­man failed to in­spire his Al Ain team and the best chances of the game fell to Estegh­lal’s in­ef­fec­tive Es­maeili un­til Rezaei scored from the spot in added time af­ter Lee Myung-joo’s hand­ball in the area.

In Jed­dah, Khamis Es­maeel put the Dubai club ahead in the 21st minute af­ter the hosts failed to clear Ev­er­ton Ri­biero’s free-kick into the area but Asiri lev­elled with a pre­cise shot to leave the tie finely poised ahead of next week’s sec­ond leg. Reuters

EPA PIC

Estegh­lal’s Kaveh Rezaei cel­e­brates with team­mates af­ter scor­ing against Al Ain in the AFC Cham­pi­ons League Round of 16 in Tehran on Mon­day. Estegh­lal won 1-0.

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