AFC Champions League West Zone wrap: Al Ahli snatch late winner

A last gasp header from Makhete Diop secured all three points for UAE heavy hitters Al Ahli over Iran’s Esteghlal in Tuesday’s AFC Champions League Group A clash.

GROUP A: AL AHLI 2-1 ESTEGHLAL

The 2015 AFC Champions League finalists took the lead in the dying moments of the first half as Senegal’s Diop scored his first goal of the evening from close range.

But Esteghlal snatched an equaliser 16 minutes from time courtesy of a smart volley from Omid Ebrahimi, and looked on course to snatch a share of the spoils.

Diop scored the winner in the 89th minute, however, rising high to meet Everton Ribeiro’s cross from the left and head home.

GROUP A: AL TAAWOUN 1-0 LOKOMOTIV

Saudi Arabia’s Al Taawoun are off and running in their maiden appearance in the competition after securing a 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv in Group A.

In front of a packed King Abdullah Stadium, the Saudi side recovered from an early disallowed goal for offside to strike the decisive blow midway through the second half.

Defender Al Absi found himself in the right place at the right time at the back post to head home Romanian Lucian Sanmartean’s long corner from the left to claim all three points at the Shining Jewel.

GROUP B: LEKHWIYA 3-0 AL JAZIRA

Lekhwiya AFC Champions League 2017

Lekhwiya showed they will be a force to be reckoned with as they blew past Al Jazira 3-0 in their Group B opener at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium.

El Arabi opened the scoring for the hosts on 11 minutes by heading in Youssef Msakni’s cross from the right from six yards.

Despite their on-field dominance, it would take until 10 minutes from time for the Qatari side’s second goal to arrive, Msakni this time finding the net.

El Arabi put the finishing touches on Lekhwiya’s performance in added time, tapping in substitute Ali Afif’s cross to bag his brace and consign their Emirati opponents to a heavy opening defeat.

GROUP B: ESTEGHLAL KHOUZESTAN 1-0 AL FATEH

Iranian champions Esteghlal Khouzesta beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Fateh 1-0 in their Group B clash at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.

Making their debut in the competition, the home side dominated the contest, but they had to wait until the 80th minute to finally open their account as Abolfazl Alaii rose to meet Peyman Shirzadi’s inswinging corner and headed home.

Al Fateh have now slumped to seven straight losses in the competition, after failing to record a single victory in last year’s campaign.

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