ACL West Zone wrap: Big wins for Al Wahda and Al Ain

Roberto Martinez ‘lạc quan’ dù tình hình nhân sự của tuyển Bỉ thiếu hụt trầm trọng

Groups C and D in the AFC Champions League remain wide open ahead of the final round of fixtures after Monday’s results from the West Zone.

Group C: Zob Ahan 0-3 Al Ain

Al Ain eased into the last 16 of the competition with a 3-0 victory at Zob Ahan of Iran at Shahr Stadium.

The Emirati outfit moved onto nine points, meaning they cannot finish outside the top two in the group.

Danilo Asprilla gave Al Ain the lead on 25 minutes before the hosts spurned a golden opportunity to equalise when Jerry Bengtson missed from the spot.

Omar Abdulrahman doubled Al Ain’s advantage courtesy of a superb solo effort 12 minutes after the break, and Mohammed Abdulrahman added a third nine minutes from time to make absolutely sure of the win.

Despite the loss, Zob Ahan are still in with a chance of progressing to the next round. It will be a winner-takes-all match between the Iranians and Al Ahli on the final matchday.

Group C: Bunyodkor 2-0 Al Ahli

Uzbeki outfit Bunyodkor, the only team in action on Monday already eliminated from the competition, broke a 17-match winless streak with an impressive 2-0 victory over Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia.

Little was expected from the hosts, who had already suffered four straight defeats in this year’s campaign, but defender Akramjon Komilov headed home from a corner to give them the best possible start.

Eldor Shomurodov then doubled the hosts’ lead five minutes into the second half and, try as they might, Al Ahli could not find a way back into the match.

A victory would have secured the Saudi side’s progression to the last 16 with a game to spare, but now they face a crunch tie with Zob Ahan on the final Matchday, which would see them eliminated if they lose.

Group D: Al Hilal 0-0 Persepolis

Al Hilal booked their place in the knockout stage by earning a point in a 0-0 draw with Persepolis.

The stalemate moved them to nine points, and the goal they scored in the 1-1 draw in their first meeting with Persepolis means they can not be passed by the Iranian side, who have six points with a match to play.

Persepolis could still advance at the cost of second-placed Al Rayyan, however, provided the Qatari outfit lose their last match and they beat bottom-of-the-table Al Wahda.

Group D: Al Wahda 5-1 Al Rayyan

There was a big result for Al Wahda, who kept their chance of advancing to the next phase of the competition alive with a 5-1 victory over Al Rayyan in Abu Dhabi.

The visitors took a surprise lead after 21 minutes courtesy of Spanish forward Sergio Garcia, but from the half-hour mark onwards, it was all Al Wahda.

Ahmed Al Akberi leveled the scores, before Balasz Dzsudzsak deflected his shot in off team-mate Sebastian Tagliabue to give the home side the lead before the break.

Tagliabue would score a brace in the second half, along with a goal from Khalil Ibrahim, as the Emirates completed the emphatic victory.