It will be a battle between the Iranians and Qataris in the West Zone of the 2018 AFC Champions League quarterfinals as Persepolis will square off against Al Duhail while Esteghlal goes head to head with Al Sadd.
The competition’s knockout-stage draw took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Wednesday where last eight teams identified their quarterfinal rivals.
Last year’s semifinalist Persepolis will face its toughest test yet in the form of competition’s most formidable side Al Duhail – which goes into the quarterfinals with a 100 percent record so far including an 8-3 aggregate victory over the UAE’s Al Ain FC in the round of 16.
Branko Ivankovic’s men will play away to the Qatar’s treble domestic champion in the first leg on August 28 with the second leg to be played at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium three week later.
Winfried Schafer’s Esteghlal, aiming to end a 27-year wait for the third title in Asia, will host Xavi’s Al Sadd in the first-leg on August 27 in a repeat of last year’s playoff contest where the Iranian Blues beat their opponent in the penalty shootouts after a goalless draw in a full-packed Azadi Stadium.
It will be Al Sadd’s second trip to Tehran this term as the Qatari side was beaten 1-0 by Persepolis on the final day of the group stage.
Esteghlal will play the return leg in Qatar on September 17.
In the East Zone fixtures, Japan’s Kashima Antlers will host Tianjin Quanjian of China in the first leg while two-time Asian champion Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will play a first-leg away game against Suwon Samsung Bluewings – also a double winner in the competition – in an all-South Korean quarterfinal tie.