AFC – TEHRAN, A 1-1 draw between Esteghlal of Islamic Republic of Iran and Emirati side Al Ahli on Tuesday saw both sides move to the brink of qualification from Group A of the AFC Champions League.
Visitors Al Ahli took a 17th minute lead in the clash at a packed Azadi Stadium, with Abdulaziz Sanqour placing the ball into the net after a neat header from striker Ahmed Khalil found him unmarked in the area.
On the half-hour mark, though, only a fine low save by Majed Naser in the Ahli net prevented a Yaghoub Karimi free-kick from levelling the tie.
In the 58th minute, Esteghlal’s pressure finally told as a quick throw released Khosro Heydari whose lobbed cross was headed home by striker Kaveh Rezaei.
With neither side then able to find a winner, both teams now lie on eight points with one Group A game remaining – three points clear of both Saudi Arabia’s Al Taawoun and Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv.