Two goals inside five minutes gave Persepolis a comfortable 2-0 victory over UAE’s Al Wasl at the Azadi Stadium on Monday, taking the Reds back to top of Group C of the AFC Champions League.
Persepolis, having suffered a 3-1 away defeat against Al Sadd on Matchday Two, went into the tie hoping to change its fortune following a 1-0 defeat against Esteghlal in Tehran derby five days ago.
Farshad Ahmadzadeh gave Persepolis the lead nine minutes before the interval when Hossein Mahini’s long throw-in was headed by captain Seyyed Jalal Hosseini into the path of Ahmadzadeh, whose powerful left-footed volley on the edge of the six-yard box found the roof of the net.
In-form striker Ali Alipour doubled the scoreline five minutes later from the penalty-spot after the Persian Gulf Pro League top-scorer was brought down inside the box by Al Wasl goalkeeper Yousif Abdullah.
In other game of the group Uzbekistan’s Nasaf beat Al Sadd 1-0, leaving three teams with six points where the Iranian side leads on goal difference.
Blues for revenge
In addition, Esteghlal plays away to UAE’s Al Ain in Group D at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.
The last time these two sides met was during last year’s last-16 tie where the Iranian Blues were well beaten 6-2 on aggregate but Winfried Schäfer’s men, having claimed a massive victory over archrival Persepolis in Tehran derby last Thursday, will hope to build on recent form and take the revenge for last year’s humiliation.
Esteghlal, the only Iranian side still undefeated in the competition, sits atop the group with four points on the back of a first-day 2-2 away draw against Qatar’s Al Rayyan followed by a massive 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal on Matchday Two.
Elsewhere in the competition, Zob Ahan will look to record back-to-back home victories in Group B when the Isfahan-based club faces UAE’s Al Wahda at Foolad Shahr Stadium.
Goals from Morteza Tabrizi and Mohammadreza Hosseini saw Zob Ahan defeat Lokomotiv 2-0 on Matchday Two, having suffered an opening-day 3-1 away loss to Al Duhail of Qatar.
The Iranian side currently sits second in the standings ahead of a double header with the group’s bottom side.
Zob Ahan and Al Wahda last met in the 2010 edition of the competition, with both winning their respective home games 1-0.