Tehran: Iran’s Persepolis celebrated their return to the AFC Champions League after a three year absence with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Qatar champions Lekhwiya on Tuesday in the Group A opener at Azadi Stadium.
After a goalless first half, Persepolis netted twice in six minutes as first Mohsen Bengar headed home on the 60th minute before Hadi Norozi added a second shortly after.
Persepolis captain Mohammad Noori (pictured) then added the game’s third and final goal from the penalty spot with seven minutes remaining as the Iran Pro League side reaped the rewards their second-half dominance had merited.
Although Persepolis shaded the first half, there were few clear-cut opportunities on goal with the hosts having the clearest sight of goal on the 18 minute mark as Brazilian Fernando Gabriel found himself in the clear inside the penalty area after Norozi’s pass put him through one-on-one with Lekhwiya goalkeeper Amine Lecomte only for the midfielder to turn his shot wide of the right-hand corner with the goal gaping.
Lekhwiya striker Sebastian Soria was narrowly wide with a header for the visitors in the opening phase of the second half, but the game was still struggling to find a flow with both sides cancelling each other out before the opener arrived on the hour mark.
Gabriel redeemed himself for his first-half miss by when his venomous free-kick into the penalty area from wide on the right was met by a thumping header from defender Bengar who directed it into the right-hand corner.
And just five minutes later Persepolis were two goals to the good as Gabriel’s cross was back-heeled into the path of Norozi by Mehdi Taremi, with the flick taking both centre-backs out of the equation and giving the forward a simple task to side-foot past an exposed Lecomte.
Lekhwiya tried to claw back the deficit but found that their attacks were reduced to efforts from range, although Korea Republic midfielder Nam Tae-hee’s 20 yard strike needed a firm hand from Persepolis goalkeeper Sousha Makani to tip the ball over the crossbar.
But with Lekhwiya committing numbers forward, they looked vulnerable to the counter-attack, and as Noori looked to take advantage of the vulnerable backline, he was hauled back by Mohamed Musa inside the penalty area.
The Persepolis captain took the resulting spot-kick himself and converted emphatically, placing the ball high into the top right-hand corner and sending a sprawling Lecomte the wrong way.
And Omid Alishah could have made it four in stoppage time as Gabriel’s defence-splitting pass fell perfectly into the midfielder’s path as he raced through on goal, but his first-time effort zipped narrowly wide of the far post.
[ چهارشنبه 20 اسفند 1393 - 02:07 ب.ظ ]
[ویرایش شده در : چهارشنبه 20 اسفند 1393 - 02:14 ب.ظ]
[ پیام ()|| Ali Dalvand ]  [+]