In a closely fought game in Isfahan last week, the tie appeared to be heading for a goalless draw until Zob Ahan was awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time which Giorgi Gvelesiani converted to ensure the 2010 runner-up takes a slender lead to Tehran, the-afc.com reported.
Esteghlal is looking to progress to the quarterfinals of the competitions for just the second time. The side from the Iranian capital reached the semifinals in 2013 in what remains Tehran Blues’ best performance in the competition.
The visitor, meanwhile, has twice been beyond the last 16 stage, when it came runners-up in 2010 and then a year later when the Isfahan-based club progressed to the quarterfinals.
Zob Ahan will be without the suspended Mohammad Nejad-Mahdi after the defender was sent off for a second bookable offence shortly before Gvelesiani’s winning penalty.