AFC Champions League RD16 - 1st leg: Tractorsazi beaten by Al Nasr

May 18, 2016

Mahmoud Khamis’ spectacular long-range goal a minute from time put the seal on an emphatic display by Al Nasr of the United Arab Emirates as Ivan Jovanovic’s side handed Tractorsazi Tabriz a 4-1 thrashing in the first leg of their 2016 AFC Champions League Round of 16 meeting on Tuesday.

Khamis' effort from 30 yards flew into the top corner, giving goalkeeper Mohammadreza Akhbari little chance and almost put the Dubai-based club in the driving seat for a place in the quarter-finals of the continental club championship.

Ahmed Al Yassi and substitute Salem Saleh scored in the opening 45 minutes to give the home side the advantage before Augusto’s strike 14 minutes into the second half secured Tractorsazi what could have been an invaluable away goal.

But Saleh’s second strike 13 minutes from time swung the tie back in favour of Al Nasr before Khamis’ dramatic intervention left the Iranian club looking for a miracle when the two teams meet again in Tabriz next week.

The visitors had the first view of goal as early as the 11th minute when Farzhad Hatami glanced his header wide of the target, but just three minutes later Al Nasr went in front.

The Tractorsazi defence failed to clear Khamis’ cross from the left sufficiently and the ball fell to Al Yassi and his low right-foot drive beat goalkeeper Akhbari at his near post.

Five minutes before the break, Al Nasr doubled their lead when Luiz Jimenez’s corner was flicked on at the near post by Esam Dhahi and Saleh reacted quickest to head in from close range, wrote.

The Iranians, however, continued to look for a way back into the game, and as the half drew to a close Shojae Khalilzadeh forced Ahmad Shambih into action as he pushed the Tractorsazi defender’s header to safety.

Tractorsazi finally found their way onto the scoreboard just before the hour mark when Augusto volleyed in from close range after the Al Nasr defence was unable to clear Hatami’s corner, before the midfielder almost claimed a spectacular equaliser, hitting the crossbar with his shot from close to 40 yards out.

Carlos Cardoso then nodded his header just over the bar as Amir Ghalehnoy’s side cranked up the pressure as they sought a deserved equaliser.

That desire for a second goal was to cost the Iranians, however, as Al Nasr claimed the third as Saleh scored again in the 77th minute after Jimenez’s initial shot had come back off the post.

And with just one minute left of regular time, Khamis scored the goal of the game when his right foot strike from 30 yards gave Akhbari little chance sealing Al Nasr’s impressive and emphatic victory.

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