Tasnim – ZURICH, Having twice stormed to the ACL final in 2018 and 2020, Persepolis maintained its rampaging form on the continental scene, finishing as group winner in dominant fashion.
The nine-time Iranian champion opened brightly, claiming four straight victories, and despite suffering an unexpected 1-0 loss at Al-Wahda, it bounced back to dispatch Al-Rayyan 4-2 to seal its passage through.
Three of the four Iranian sides involved progressed, with last year’s runner-up Persepolis, Esteghlal and Tractor advancing, leaving Foolad as the only eliminated Iran Pro League team, FIFA.com wrote.
Joining the trio in the knockout phase will be Riyadh-based duo Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr while Al-Wahda and Sharjah of the United Arab Emirates both made it through. Tournament debutant Istiklol, meanwhile, took its group campaign by storm and progressed as group winner.