Sat Oct 21, 2017 | 15:53
Sepahan victorious, Reds in stalemate
Wed, 06 Apr 2011 00:05:11 GMT
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Sepahan's players cheering after victory over Qatari club Al Gharafa
Iranian champion Sepahan has blanked Qatar's Al Gharafa with two goals and Persepolis has played out a goalless draw with Uzbek club Bunyodkor in the 2011 AFC Champions League.

On the third round on Tuesday, Sepahan gained its third win in a row at Isfahan's Fouladshahr Stadium while the Reds were held scoreless at the JAR Stadium in Tashkent.

After a goalless first-half, the match came into life for Sepahan as Hadi Aqili converted from the spot a few minutes before the hour mark. Ibrahim Toure received a high ball in the box, but before he could make any move, Al Gharafa defender Bilal Mohamed pulled him down.

Eleven minutes later, Ahmad Jamshidian sealed the victory for the host when he fired home a long range swerving volley which saw off Al Gharafa keeper Qasem Burhan frozen at his near post.

Despite the consecutive victories, Sepahan's boss Amir Qalenoei said after the match that he cannot say for sure that they have reached the next round until they defeat their “main opponent” Al Hilal.

In the other Group A match, Al Hilal beat Al Jazira 3-1.

Sepahan now is leading the group with nine points from three games, three adrift of Saudi outfit Al Hilal, while Al Gharafa and Al-Jazira are respectively at the bottom with one point.

Earlier in the day, Persepolis and Bunyodkor went into the game both with a single point from their previous games and did nothing to help their group standings.

The match did not have many clear-cut scoring chances and the best opportunity of the first half fell to the host's striker Kamoliddin Murzoev seven minutes into the game after a bad clearance by the Reds' defense. Murzoev got the ball just outside the six-yard box but slashed it high and wide.

In the second half, Bunyodkor found the back of the net but it was disallowed for offside.

In the other Group C match, Al-Ittihad pummeled Al-Wahda 3-0.

Al-Ittihad is now on top of the group with nine points after three matches. Bunyodkor, Persepolis and Al Wahda have two points each and all the three are desperately eying a berth in the round of 16.

Other Iranian representatives in the Asian event will play on Wednesday. Esteqlal will play Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor in Group B at Tehran's Azadi Stadium and Zob Ahan will take on Al Rayyan in Group D in Doha.

AS/JM/AGB
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