ACL West Zone Wrap: Wins for Lekhwiya and Al-Hilal

Lekhwiya and Al-Hilal both moved to the top of their respective groups after picking up victories in Monday’s AFC Champions League action in the west.

Group B: Lekhwiya 2-1 Esteghlal Khouzestan

Lekhwiya came from behind to beat Esteghlal Khouzestan 2-1 in Doha.

The Qatari outfit found themselves a goal down after their Iranian opponents scored in only the ninth minute of the match.

Aloys Nong was on hand to fire home after collecting Hassan Beyt Saeed’s cross to give the visitors the best possible start.

But Lekhwiya mounted an impressive comeback and found an equaliser after 35 minutes, playmaker Nam Tae-hee scoring thanks to a superb solo effort from 20 yards out.

And the comeback was complete on the stroke of half-time as Nam turned from scorer to provider, starting the move on the left flank and allowing Almoez Ali to deliver the finishing touch.

The result leaves Lekhwiya top of Group B with 8 points, one point clear of Esteghlal in second.

Group B Al Jazira 0-0 Al Fateh

Al Jazira were knocked out of the competition after playing out to a goalless draw with Al Fateh in their group B clash at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia’s Al Fateh will be reasonably satisfied with the result, as it keeps their hopes of a place in the knockout phase alive.

Ali Mabkhout looked to have given Emirati hosts Al Jazira the lead in the first half, only for his goal to be ruled out for offside in a match that featured few clear cut chances.

The result leaves Al Fateh in third place on five points, two behind Esteghlal, who occupy the final qualification spot.

Al Jazira are left stranded on just one point from four matches, effectively eliminating them from the competition.

Group D: Persepolis 0-0 Al Rayyan

Persepolis were left to rue several missed chances after drawing 0-0 with Al Rayyan at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran.

The Iranian hosts should have taken the lead just before half-time when Al Rayyan left-back Mosaab Kheder committed a foul inside the box, but striker Mehdi Taremi chipped his effort from the spot over the bar.

Ali Alipour also squandered a great chance when his first-half header couldn’t find the target.

Those misses almost cost them dearly when Sebastian Soria had a chance for Al Rayyan deep into injury time, with only the post preventing the visiting Qataris from taking all three points.

The result leaves Al Rayyan in second place in Group D on seven points, followed by Persepolis in third place two points adrift.

Group D: Al-Hilal 1-0 Al Wahda

A solitary goal made all the difference as Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal beat Al Wahda of the UAE 1-0 in Riyadh.

The goal came from the penalty spot via the boot of Carlos Eduardo after Leo Bonatini was brought down by Al Wahda goalkeeper Rashed Ali in the 24th minute.

Al Wahda had the chance to level the scores with a penalty of their own two minutes before the break, but Sebastian Tagliabue’s effort was saved by Abdullah Al Mayoof.

The result sees Al-Hilal move to the top of Group D on eight points, one ahead of Al Rayyan, while Al Wahda are rock bottom with just one point from four matches and already out of the competition.

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