Doha (AFP) – Former champions Al Sadd of Qatar were upset by Uzbekistan’s Nasaf while the UAE’s Al Wasl suffered their third straight defeat in the AFC Champions League which resumed after a two-week break on Monday.
Al Sadd, who won the continental tournament in 2011, fell 1-0 away at the Markaziy Stadium in the southern Uzbek city of Qarshi, while Iran’s Persepolis dominated Al Wasl for a 2-0 victory at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran.
Monday’s Group C results leave Al Sadd, Nasaf and Persepolis level on six points, while Al Wasl languish at the bottom having failed to open their account from three matches.
Al Sadd, whose Qatar Stars League title chances were severely dented last week when they were beaten 4-3 by leaders Al Duhail, failed to get their act together against Nasaf who dominated the game and created several scoring chances.
With the injured Xavi not playing the match, the Qatar giants were clearly short on inspiration and could have leaked more goals but for the efforts of their defenders and goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb.
Al-Sheeb, however, couldn’t deny the Uzbeks in the 62nd minute when Azizjon Gainev scored from the penalty spot after Bobir Abdixolikov was fouled by Salem al-Hajri.
Ruzikul Berdiev’s men then held on to their slender lead for their second win in the competition.
Meanwhile in Tehran, Farshad Ahmadzadeh and Ali Alipour were on target in a span of five minutes as Persepolis saw off Al Wasl.
Ahmadzadeh scored with a volley in the 36th minute when a long throw-in by Hossein Mahini was headed into his path by captain Jalal Hosseini and Alipour consolidated in the 41st from the spot after he was felled while trying to get around Al Wasl goalkeeper Yousif Abdulla.
Australian midfielder Anthony Caceres came close to reducing the deficit for Al Wasl but his free-kick was tipped away for a corner by Alireza Beiranvand.
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