Epic by Iranians

October 3, 2020 - 21:47
Persepolis football team advance to 2020 ACL final

TEHRAN – Persepolis booked a place at the 2020 AFC Champions League final for the second time in three years after beating Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia in a penalty shootout.

Persepolis football club advanced to the final with a 5-3 win on penalties against Al Nassr after the West Zone semi-final ended 1-1 after 120 minutes at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Saturday.

Persepolis started the match with a big shock since the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Disciplinary and Ethics Committee’s decision banned the team’s forward Issa Alekasir just hours before the match.

The 30-year-old forward received the ban after making a slant-eyed gesture to television cameras after scoring against Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, while he has always made this celebration due to his nephew.

In the 34th minute, Khalid Al-Ghannam was tripped down in the Persepolis area by Bashar Resan and Moroccan striker Abderazak Hamdallah converted the penalty with a right-footed shot to the center of the goal.

With three minutes to the break, Mehdi Abdi headed the ball home from the center of the box to the bottom left corner in the 42nd minute.

Persepolis were reduced to 10-man in the 104th minute after Ehsan Pahlevan was shown his second yellow card.  

Al Nassr put Persepolis under pressure in the second added time but failed to find the back of the net.  

In an epic penalty shootout, Persepolis defeated Al Nassr 5-3 and went into the final match.

The remaining matches in the eastern half of the draw are scheduled to be played in a centralized venue from Nov. 18 to Dec. 13.

Reporting by Masoud Hossein

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