AFC Champions League: Esteghlal must reverse deficit against Zob Ahan [Preview]

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Tehran Times – TEHRAN, Esteghlal must reverse a one-goal deficit from the first leg of the AFC Champions League Round of 16 encounters with Zob Ahan when the sides square off for the second leg at Azadi Stadium on Tuesday.

In a closely fought game in Isfahan last week, the tie appeared to be heading for a goalless draw until Zob Ahan was awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time which Giorgi Gvelesiani converted to ensure the 2010 runner-up take a slender lead to Tehran.

Esteghlal is looking to progress to the quarter-final of the AFC Champions League for just the second time. The side from the Iranian capital reached the semi-final in 2013 in what remains its best performance in the competition.

The visiting team, meanwhile, has twice been beyond the last 16 stage, when it came runner-up in 2010 and then a year later when it progressed to the quarter-final.

But Zob Ahan will be without the suspended Mohammad Nejadmahdi after the defender was sent off for a second bookable offence shortly before Gvelesiani’s winning penalty.

Esteghlal will also play without its injured midfielders Dariush Shojaeian and Omid Ebrahimi.


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