Esteghlal Khuzestan on verge of qualifying for ACL last 16 for first time

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Tasnim – AHVAZ, Tournament debutant Esteghlal Khuzestan of Iran requires a point against Group B’s bottom side Al Jazira on Tuesday to qualify for the last 16 of the 2017 AFC Champions League.

After winning its opening two games on the continent, the Iranian side has drawn two and lost one ahead of the fixture at Ghadir Stadium.

But a two-point lead over third-placed Al Fateh, coupled with a better head-to-head record, means a draw against already eliminated Al Jazira will suffice.

Salman Bahrani’s stoppage-time equalizer against Al Fateh in a 1-1 draw two weeks ago has left the host’s qualification prospects in its own hands and it warmed up for the clash with a 2-1 victory over Saba in the Iranian Professional League (IPL) on Thursday, although Farshad Salarvand sits out through suspension.

Two wins from two domestically since their last Group B game means the Emirati team goes into the tie on form, but both Yaqoub Al Hosani and Fares Juma are suspended.

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