Al Sadd lose to Persepolis in AFC Champions League Round 6


Iran’s Persepolis defeated Qatar’s Al Sadd 2-0 in Round 6 of the AFC Champions League at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Monday.

Al Sadd had already secured their place in the Round of 16, whereas Persepolis bowed out of the competition in the group stage despite the victory.

In the final outing of his illustrious career, Al Sadd star Xavi Hernandez continued to be the prime creative force for Al Sadd. Five minutes in, the Spaniard collected the ball at the centre circle and supplied a through pass for Baghdad Bounedjah who looked to lob over Alireza Beiranvand, but the Persepolis goalkeeper stretched and made the save with his fingertips.

Persepolis’ first attempt of the match produced the opening goal in the 16th minute. Mehdi Torabi collected Ahmad Noorollahi’s pass 30 yards from goal and unleashed a thunderous drive into the top corner of Saad Al Dossari’s net to put the hosts in front.

After the restart, Al Sadd looked to take the game to their opponents in an effort to find an equaliser, and they came as close as possible in the 64th minute when the 2018 AFC Player of the Year Abdelkarim Hassan beat Beiranvand from 35 yards out, but watched his powerful effort ricochet off the bottom of the upright. 

Torabi then turned provider for Persepolis in the 67th minute, breaking free down the left flank and finding Ali Alipour with a perfectly-weighted pass. Alipour rode off the initial tackle of Tarek Salman before drilling a low effort through the legs of Saad to make it 2-0.

Then, Xavi and Boualem Khoukhi saw their efforts go in vain as the hosts recorded a consolation win.