ACL 2020 Play-offs: Esteghlal thrash Al Rayyan 5-0; Shahr Khodro overcome Al Sailiya on penalties


IR Iran’s Esteghlal FC have thrashed Qatar’s Al Rayyan SC in the play-off stage of the AFC Champions League 2020 at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday.

Cheick Diabate opened the scoring for visitors Esteghlal in the eight minute before Mehdi Ghaedi made it 2-0 against the Qatar Stars League outfit five minutes before the half-time interval.

Ghaedi added the third for his side two minutes after the restart before Amir Arsalan Motahari added a late brace to seal a comfortable 5-0 win for Esteghlal as they progressed to the group stages of the AFC Champions League.

Esteghlal had began their continental campaign in the preliminary stages of the ACL where they had defeated Kuwait SC 3-1 in the Preliminary Round 2 last week to book the play-off berth.

Meanwhile, the other Iranian club in the qualifiers — Shahkr Khodro FC — needed penalties to defeat another Qatar Stars League side Al Sailiya SC after the two teams played out a goalless draw after extra time at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.

Interestingly, it was Iran international Karim Ansarifard who missed from the spot for the Qatari side in the penalty shootouts which let the club from his homeland a passage to the group stages of ACL 2020.

While Shahr Khodro join Al Hilal Saudi FC, Shabab Al Ahli Club and Pakhtakor Tashkent in Group B of ACL 2020, Esteghlal will be in Group A alongside Al Wahda FC, Al Shorta FC and the winners of the play-off between Al Ahli Saudi FC and FC Istiklol.