AFC Champions League: Late penalties take Persepolis past Al Ahli [VIDEO]

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AFC – Abu Dhabi,  Islamic Republic of Iran’s Persepolis will face Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in the 2017 AFC Champions League semi-finals after beating Al Ahli 3-1 (5-3 on aggregate) at Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in the quarter-final second leg on Tuesday.

Two late penalties gave Persepolis the victory as the Iranians showed great spirit, as they had done in their first-leg two-goal comeback, in Abu Dhabi.

Persepolis got off to a flyer as Ali Alipour latched onto a long pass, outmuscling his marker before applying a placed finish into the bottom corner to give his side the lead five minutes into the game.

The Iranians’ fortunes suffered a blow when midfielder Kamal Kamyabinia received a straight red card after a challenge on Waleed Bakshwan in the 12th minute.

Al Ahli capitalised on their one-man advantage and grabbed an equaliser when winger Saleh Al Amri curled one in from the edge of the area in the 52nd minute.

With the 1-1 result favouring Al Ahli on away goals, Persepolis piled the pressure in pursuit of a winner and Al Ahli’s defense cracked under pressure.

First Al Ahli captain Motaz Hawsawi handled the ball in an attempt to clear off his line and the referee awarded a penalty for Persepolis and sent Hawsawi off.

Substitute Godwin Mensha converted the penalty-kick to restore Persepolis’ lead and Mahdi Taremi added a second from the spot in added time to put the win beyond doubt.


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