AFC – DOHA, Esteghlal will progress to the 2017 AFC Champions League Round of 16 should they claim a point against Al Taawoun at Al Ahli SC Stadium on Tuesday.
Al Taawoun sit three points adrift of second-placed Esteghlal in Group A, meaning a win would move the Saudi outfit level with their opponents on eight points, although a four-goal winning margin is required in order to gain the superior head-to-head record after Esteghlal ran out 3-0 victors in the corresponding fixture in February.
Kaveh Rezaei’s second-half equaliser against Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates two weeks ago secured a 1-1 draw and took Esteghlal within a point of advancing, before the Tehran-based team won two on the bounce in the Iranian Pro League.
Al Taawoun, who suffered a 2-1 defeat to Al Ahli in the Saudi Professional League on Friday, played out one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament on Matchday Five as Ricardo Machado’s injury-time equaliser ensured a 4-4 draw with Lokomotiv. They now must win to have any chance of progression, but will have to do so without the suspended Naif Mousa.