Sat, 05 Dec 2020

DOHA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- A late Shoja' Khalilzadeh goal earned Iran's Persepolis FC a valuable 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia's Al-Taawoun FC on matchday three of the 2020 AFC Champions League Group C on Tuesday.

The deadlock was finally broken with eight minutes to go, when a corner was nodded onto the path of defender Khalilzadeh, who was well-positioned at the far post to control and finish into the bottom corner.

Despite the defeat, Al-Taawoun remain top of Group C thanks to a superior head-to-head record over second-placed Al-Duhail SC, who beat Sharjah FC 2-1 earlier in the day to reach six points, while Persepolis climb above Sharjah into second place with four points, just two behind the group leaders at the stage's halfway point.

Sharjah's chances of progressing to the next round now hang on their ability to collect three points in the reverse fixture on Friday.

In Group D, Al-Nassr FC of Saudi Arabia continued their charge towards the round of 16 with a 2-0 win over Iran's Sepahan thanks to a brace from Abderazzaq Hamdallah.

The two sides went into the game with a point separating them; with Al-Nassr in second place with four points needing a win to keep them at arm's length from third-placed Sepahan.

The first half started slowly, but things quickly changed when Argentina's Gonzalo Martinez sent an indirect free-kick with surgical accuracy onto the head of Hamdallah, the Moroccan making no mistake from six yards to put his team ahead at the half-hour mark.

Just three minutes into the second half, Hamdallah doubled his team's lead and his own tally after tapping in a rebound that fell to him just outside the six yard box, after a magnificent solo run down the right by Khalid Al-Ghannam ended with his initial shot being deflected into the Moroccan's path.

With this win, Al-Nassr replaced Al-Sadd SC at the top of Group D with seven points, while Sepahan remain in third place, two points off a knockout stage qualification spot ahead of matchday four's reverse fixture on Friday.

In Group G's other match, Al-Ain FC and Al-Sadd SC shared the points in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

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