The AFC Champions League 2018 saw its Round of 16 games come to an end. Here is a recap of what happened:
Persepolis 2-1 Al Jazira (4-4 on Aggregate) (Nourollahi 63' Hosseini 89' - Romarinho 70')
After a 2-3 loss in the first leg, Persepolis needed to win by a goal at home to go through. However, the first half produced no goals in Iran as Al Jazira started to breathe easy. But the Iranians went ahead finally in the 63rd minute when Ahmadzadeh played in Ahmad Nourollahi whose venomous strike from 25 yards went in.
But Al Jazira hit back when Al Hashmi set up Romarinho, who drilled in a shot from outside the area into the bottom corner. As it looked like Al Jazira had done enough, Persepolis struck in thrilling fashion at the death. Seyed Jalal Hosseini pounced on a defensive clearance to volley home the winner as Persepolis went through on away goals.
Al Ahli 2-2 Al Sadd (3-4 on Aggregate) (Claudemir 9' Aseri 39' - Bounedjah 2', 70')
A brace from Baghdad Bounedjah helped Al Sadd snatch a 2-2 draw away to Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia and qualify for the quarter-finals of the continental competition.
The first leg had finished 2-1 in Al Sadd's favour and they went further ahead on aggregate as early as in the second minute on Monday. Bounedjah dribbled into the box and lashed a fierce strike past the goalkeeper. But Al Ahli hit back instantaneously. Claudemir was on hand to nod home a header as the Saudi side drew level.
In the 39th minute, Al Ahli were level on aggregate when Mohannad Aseri capitalised on Abdelkarim Hassan's failure to clear the ball and tapped in. But in the 69th minute, Al Sadd were handed a lifeline. Hamid Ismail was brought down in the box by Claudemir and Bounedjah's initial penalty was blocked. But he turned in the rebound to ensure Al Sadd went through.
Esteghlal 3-1 Zobahan (3-2 on Aggregate) (Thiam 11', 41', 64' - Haddadifar 65')
Iran's Esteghlal managed to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg against Zobahan to qualify for the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League.
At home, Esteghlal had the perfect start when they were awarded a penalty in the 11th minute. Senegalese forward Mame Thiam converted the spotkick to draw Esteghlal level on aggregate. Thiam was on target again in the 41t minute with a left-footed curler from outside the area that beat the Zobahan goalkeeper all ends up.
The striker then went on to complete his hat-trick by finishing off Server Djeparov's pull-back.
Though Zobahan got a goal back almost immediately, Esteghlal would hold on to seal progression.
Al Duhail 4-1 Al Ain (8-3 on Aggregate) (Ahmad 12' El-Arabi 30', 86' Mohammad 54' - Abdulrahman 90+4')
After a 4-2 win in the first leg, Al Duhail went on to take the lead in the second leg in the 12th minute when Al Ain's Mohamed Ahmad diverted the ball past his own keeper. Striker Youssef El-Arabi would then make it 2-0 when he stabbed in Ismail Mohammad’s powerful cross from the right flank.
After the break, Sultan Al Brake went through on goal and chipped the goalkeeper who got his hands on the ball but it fell for Mohammad who tapped into the empty net in the 54th minute. El-Arabi would then complete his brace with a spotkick four minutes from time. Al Ain would get a consolation from the spot in injury-time as their campaign ended in misery.