The AFC Champions League 2018 saw some fantastic results in the West Zone in the first leg of the Round of 16 stage. Here is a look at what transpired:
Al Jazira FSC 3-2 Persepolis FC (Al Hajeri 52' Romarinho 77' Mubarak 90+6' - Alipour 42' Mensha 84')
Persepolis were the early aggressors but Al Jazira kept the Iranians at bay expertly but the Iranians took the lead in the 42nd minute. Ali Alipour headed in Vahid Amiri’s cross into the top right corner. However, Al Jazira hit back in the 52nd minute when Ali Mabkhout Al Hajeri dribbled through the Persepolis defence and scored a powerful effort.
Brazilian forward Romarinho received Mabkhout's pass in the 77th minute before entering the area and scored to pull the home team ahead. But Persepolis were soon level through Godwin Mensha's rebound after his initial penalty was saved.
But there was drama at the end as defender Khalifa Mubarak won it for Al Jazira with a header from Mbark Boussoufa's free-kick in injury time.
Al Sadd 2-1 Al Ahli Saudi FC (Khouki 3', 28' - Aseri 47')
Al Sadd managed a slender victory at home in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash with Saudi's Al Ahli on Monday.
The Qatar team made a flying start to the game as Boualem Khoukhi entered the box after a fine give-and-go with Xavi and coolly found the back of the net. Before Al Ahli could recover from that shock, Khouki struck again.
Two minutes before the half-hour mark, he directed a powerful header past Mohammed Al Owais following Baghdad Bounedjah's cross from the right. However, Al Ahli pulled one back right after the restart as Mohannad Aseri headed in Amir Kurdi's cross. While the scoreline remained the same, the away goal would be some relief for Al Ali ahead of the second leg.
Zobahan FC 1-0 Esteghlal FC (Gvelesiani 90+3')
A dramatic late winner was the order of the day as Iran's Zobahan trumped their compatriots Esteghlal 1-0 in the first leg of their Round of 16 fixture.
Esteghlal were the dominant side right from the start and Farshid Esmaeili should have opened the scoring early on. However, they were unable to fashion an opening goal as Zobahan grew in confidence.
However, Zobahan were reduced to 10 men in the final minute of regular time after Mohammad Nejadmahdi was sent off for a second bookable offence. But Esteghlal could not take advantage of it and were shocked at the death when Rouzbeh Cheshmi handled the ball inside the box and Gvelesiani stepped up to convert the penalty and give his side a slight advantage.
Al Ain FC 2-4 Al Duhail SC (Khalil 68' Diaky 86' - El-Arabi 16' Tae-Hee 39' Mohammad 48' Ali 55')
Qatar's Al Duhail SC claimed a brilliant 4-2 win over UAE's Al Ain FC on Tuesday away from home.
Al Duhail started sensationally and took the lead in the 16th minute when Youssef El Arabi converted the rebound after his initial effort was saved by goalkeeper Khaled Eisa. Nam Tae-hee then doubled the lead for the Qataris in the 39th minute with a magnificent solo effort. The night would get worse for Al Ain as Ismail Mohammad put his side further ahead with a fine chip over Eisa.
Nam Tae-Hee then threaded a through ball for Almoez Ali, whose fierce low strike went in at the near post to make it 4-0. A shell-shocked Al Ain would have been out of the tie already but they gave themselves a slim hope by pulling back two goals. However, Al Duhail are massive favourites to go through.