0500 GMT January 19, 2019
Persepolis of Iran started its 2018 AFC Champions League campaign in style, beating Nasaf Qarshi of Uzbekistan 3-0 in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.
On Tuesday, the Persian Gulf Pro League champion started on the front foot, as expected, and went in front through Godwin Mensha with 20 minutes into the game.
Vahid Amiri’s cross on the edge of the box found the Nigerian as his powerful header found the back of the net for the Iranian side’s first goal of the new campaign.
Mohammad Ansari could have doubled the Iranians’ lead before the interval but his long-range shot was saved by the Nasaf keeper Sanjar Kuvvatov while Farshad Ahmadzadeh failed to score on the rebound.
Nasaf, meanwhile, had its chances for an equalizer through Azizjon Ganiev, Odiljon Khamrobekov as the former’s effort went just wide while the latter’s shot was saved by Alireza Beiranvand.
Persepolis pushed to seal the victory in the second half and it was in-form striker Ali Alipour’s brace inside five minutes which put the result beyond Uzbeks’ reach.
Sadeq Moharrami’s low cross in the 66th minute was met by Alipour in the six-yard box whose shot found the top corner for the second goal of the game.
It was Alipour again in the 71st minute who scored probably the best goal of the night as his sizzling shot inside the box on Ansari’s pass made it 3-0 in favor of the host.
Persepolis will travel to Qatar to face Al Sadd on Matchday Two while Nasaf hosts the UAE’s Al Wasl.