AFC – DOHA, Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad will look to build on last week’s 2-1 home victory when they travel to Doha to take on Islamic Republic of Iran’s Zobahan FC in the second leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Monday.
Goals from Luis Jimenez and Ziyad Al Sahafi either side of the half-time break overturned Ghasem Hadadifar’s early goal for Zobahan, earning Al Ittihad an important win last week.
Now, Jose Luis Sierra’s men will aim to complete the job and set up an all-Saudi quarter-final clash with the winners between rivals Al Hilal and Al Ahli.
Zobahan had been unbeaten for six games ahead of their defeat in the first leg, and getting back to winning ways is their only option if they are to advance to the quarter-finals for only the second time since 2011.
Alireza Mansourian’s side have reached the AFC Champions League knockout stage three times in the past four years, but with both their two previous appearances ending in the Round of 16, they will be eager to go one step further before thinking of repeating their runners-up finish from 2010.
Two-time champions Al Ittihad, on the other side, have been away from competing at the business end of the AFC Champions League for a few years, their last quarter-final appearance dating back to 2014.
So, Monday’s match offers an opportunity for Sierra to bring them back to the forefront again.
Romarinho scored three times in the group stage, but missed several opportunities in Dubai a week ago.
Should the Brazilian find his scoring boots on Monday, an Al Ittihad goal will further complicate Zobahan’s challenge.