Iran’s Esteghlal, Shahr Khodro qualify for ACL playoff

January 25, 2020 - 19:51

TEHRAN – Esteghlal and Shahr Khodro football teams from Iran booked their places at the 2020 AFC Champions League playoff on Saturday.

Esteghlal defeated Kuwait SC 3-0 at the 2020 AFC Champions League Preliminary Stage 2 in Dubai’s Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium.

Malian striker Cheick Diabaté scored twice in the 27th and 54th and Vouria Ghafouri made it 3-0 in the 59th minute.

Esteghlal will take on Qatar's Al Rayyan SC at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday. Eventually, the winners will sit in ACL’s Group A along with Al Wahda FSCC of the UAE, Iraq's Al Shorta and another team from the qualifying stages.

The other Iranian team, Shahr Khodro, defeated Bahrain’s Riffa 2-1 at the Sharjah Stadium. Mohammadreza Khalatbari scored for Shahr Khodro in the 19th minute but Saleh Taher equalized the match in the 35th minute.

With eight minutes remaining, Amin Ghasseminejhad scored the winner for the Iranian team.

Shahr Khodro will play Qatar's Al Sailiya SC on Tuesday at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium and the ultimate winners will advance to Group B alongside Al Hilal SFC of Saudi Arabia, the UAE's Shabab Al Ahli Dubai and Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan.

Iran’s Persepolis and Sepahan have already secured their places in the group stage of the competition.

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