Three Iranian Persian Gulf Pro Leagues clubs Esteghlal, Esteghlal Khuzestan and Persepolis failed to notch up a victory on Matchday Four of the AFC Champions League (ACL) 2017, snatching two draws and conceding a defeat.
On Tuesday, Esteghlal held Lokomotiv Tashkent to a 1-1 draw to have racked up 7 seven points from four games. In Monday matches, Persepolis neither scored nor conceded a goal to share points with Qatar’s Al Rayyan and Esteghlal Khuzestan conceded its first defeat in the tournament in a Group B fixture against another Qatari rival Lekhwiya.
A first-half lackluster performance by Esteghlal and frequent individual mistakes by its players was enough for Marat Bikmaev to send the ball in the back of the Blues’ net with a precise shot 13 minutes into the game.
Later in the game, Esteghlal players improved performance led to the team’s striker Kaveh Rezaei scoring an equalizer in the 87th minute and help his side rack up a point in Tashkent.
Persepolis was left to rue missed chances after a 0-0 draw with Al Rayyan in a Group D match staged at Azadi Stadium in the Iranian capital of Tehran.
Striker Mehdi Taremi squandered the game’s best opportunity on the stroke of halftime, lofting a chipped penalty over the bar following a foul by Al Rayyan left-back Mosaab Kheder.
Fellow forward Ali Alipour, meanwhile, had a fine headed opportunity to give Persepolis a lead with just 10 minutes on the clock but was unable to control his effort at goal.
The misses almost proved costly when Al Rayyan's Sebastian Soria rattled the post with the game already deep into injury time following a flowing counterattacking move.
In the end, though, neither side was able to claim all three points and Group D remains in the balance with two rounds of fixtures remaining.
Nam Tae-hee scored one and made another as host Lekhwiya came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory over Esteghlal Khuzestan and leapfrog its opponent into top spot in Group B of the AFC Champions League.
Aloys Nong put Esteghlal Khuzestan in front after just nine minutes at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium, collecting Hassan Beyt Saeed’s cross before firing low into the net.
The visitor’s advantage did not last long, though, as influential playmaker Nam produced a stunning 20-yard strike after 35 minutes to level the scores. By the stroke of halftime, the comeback was complete as Almoez Ali took advantage to bundle home a cross after more fine work by Nam on the left flank.
With 20 minutes remaining, Nam forced Vahid Sheikhveisi into a fine save to keep the deficit to just one goal, while Ali was also denied a second from a spectacular late effort as Lekhwiya inflicted a first defeat for Esteghlal Khuzestan on the continent to move to the top of the standings.