AFC – TEHRAN, Mehdi Taremi’s hat-trick helped Persepolis secure their passage to the 2017 AFC Champions League Round of 16 following a 4-2 victory over Al Wahda in Group D on Monday.
Needing a win at Azadi Stadium to advance, and for Al Rayyan to fail to defeat Al Hilal in the simultaneous kick-off in Group D, Soroush Rafiei gave the hosts an early lead after 17 minutes, which was quickly doubled by striker Taremi.
Al Wahda struck back just after the half-hour mark as Ahmed Al Akberi found the target, before Sebastian Tagliabue pulled the visitors level on 51 minutes. Persepolis, though, soon found a second wind as Taremi stepped up to a starring role by scoring three minutes later to restore the home side’s lead and then again with 20 minutes remaining to seal what was ultimately a comfortable victory.
With group leaders Al Hilal claiming a thrilling 4-3 victory over Al Rayyan in Doha, the Iranian champions leapfrogged the Qataris into second place to join Al Hilal in the next phase while Al Wahda finished bottom of the standings.