TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iranian clubs Persepolis and Sepahan will hope to get off to a winning resumption of their AFC Champions League (ACL) campaign on Tuesday.
Persepolis, which celebrated a fourth consecutive Persian Gulf Pro League title in August, will take on Group C leader Al Taawoun of Saudi Arabia, knowing that any result other than a victory will compromise Reds’ chances of booking a place in the knockout phase.
A first day defeat at Al Duhail (2-0) and a 2-2 draw against Sharja have left Yahya Golmohammadi’s men trailing the Saudi side and Al Duhail by five and two points respectively.
Golmohammadi will hope new signings Ehsan Pahlevan and Issa Alekasir will fill the void in the frontline after the club parted ways with last season’s top scorers Ali Alipour and Mehdi Torabi.
Al Taawoun, meanwhile, survived a domestic scare, managing to avoid relegation on the final day of the newly-finished Saudi Pro League season.
Sepahan will embark on a new era under manager Moharam Navidkia – who has only been in charge of the club for a week – against Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr.
The Isfahan-based side got off to a flying start in Group D, thrashing Emirati club Al Ain 4-0, before suffering a 3-0 defeat against Xavi’s Al Sadd of Qatar.
Al Nassr stands second in the group with four points, only behind Al Sadd on an inferior goal difference, with Sepahan at third place.
Al Nassr lost its domestic title to rival Al Hilal last Wednesday, settling for the runner-up spot.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) COVID-19 Sub-Committee decided that the UAE’s Al Wahda shall be considered to have withdrawn from the competition, having failed to arrive in Doha ahead of their remaining Group A matches.
The Emirati side had reported last week that several of its players have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Al Wahda was to play a double header against Iran’s Esteghlal today and Thursday.
The committee said that the circumstances surrounding the club’s failure to arrive “constituted an event of force majeure” and that the matches played by Al Wahda in the competition shall be considered “null and void”.
No points or goals from the previous matches involving Al Wahda will be considered in determining the final group standing, the AFC added.
- source : Iran Daily