Syria international striker Omar Al Soma scored twice as Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli Saudi FC defeated IR Iran champions Persepolis 2-1 in Matchday 4 of the AFC Champions League 2019.
2018 runners-up Persepolis came into this game with just one win from their first three group matches and their hopes of improving their chances of making it out of Group D suffered a major blow when Al Soma opened the scoring in the 20th minute.
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The strike from the Syrian sniper looked to remain the difference between the two sides for long until the Al Ahli striker found his second of the night in the 83rd minute with a brilliantly struck free kick.
Persepolis pulled one back through Shojae Khalilzadeh in the second half injury time, but that wasn’t enough to stop them from succumbing to their second defeat in ACL 2019.
Baghdad Bounedjah late goal takes Al Sadd top the top
Meanwhile, Qatar Stars League champions Al Sadd reached the summit of the group with a 2-1 win over Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor Tashkent at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.
Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez once again found the back of the net from a freekick as Al Sadd went 1-0 ahead in the ninth minute of the Group D encounter. Abdelkarim Hassan could have doubled Al Sadd’s lead a few minutes later, but his header was off the mark and the Uzbek club was let off.
The Qataris paid the price for not sealing the result early on when Egor Krimets found the equaliser for Pakhtakor at the half-hour mark. Al Sadd went in search of a winner, but were kept at bay by the visitors’ defence.
🇶🇦 السد فاز بثنائية تشافي ثم بونجاح، الذي سجّل هدف الفوز قبل الصافرة، 2⃣ -1⃣ على ضيفه باختاكور 🇺🇿 ليرفع رصيده إلى 7 نقاط في صدارة المجموعة الرابعة.#السد_بختاكور pic.twitter.com/g4ToNP0pwA
— FIFA.com – عربي (@fifacom_ar) April 22, 2019
However, they finally broke through when prolific Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah did what he does the best with three minutes left on the clock — this time Xavi turning the provider for the goal.
After four rounds of matches, Al Sadd top Group D with seven points while Al Ahli are second with six. Pakhtakor drop down to third with five points while Persepolis are bottom of the table, one point behind the Uzbeks.