Sharjah’s poor league form gets overshadowed with ACL win…
It has been a mixed bag of results for UAE clubs on the inaugural day of the AFC Champions League (ACL) as Sharjah FC won 1-0 over Iraq’s Al Quwa Al Jawiya, but Al Wahda went down by a similar scoreline to Iran’s Persepolis on Wednesday evening.
Sharjah earn hard-fought win at home
Sharjah made the most of their home conditions as they narrowly beat Iraq’s Air Force club, courtesy of a second-half goal from Khalid Bawazir at the Sharjah Stadium.
The hosts were dominating possession from the first whistle but the first significant opportunity fell for Al Quwa as Ibrahim Bayesh’s effort from long range was on target. Defender Abdullah Ghanim showed alacrity to put his body on the line and the deflected shot was collected by Adel Al Hosani.
Both teams were having a go at each other’s defence and Sharjah winger Caio was almost through on goal after the half-hour mark but was denied by custodian Fahad Taleb.
Minutes later, the visitors were denied by the crossbar when Ali Khadim’s header from a corner struck the frame.
The Air Force outfit started strongly and looked more likely to score as they were creating goal-scoring opportunities in plenty. Humam Tareq’s header missed the target by a whisker whereas, Luan Pereira’s effort struck the wrong side of the woodwork.
Almost against the run of play, Sharjah broke the deadlock with a quick counter attack through Caio, who delivered a perfect cross for Bawazir to blast home from close range.
Coach Ayoub Odisho’s men started their pursuit for an equaliser with renewed efforts but were unable to get past a sturdy Sharjah defence. A red card to Tareq further complicated matters for Al-Quwa who had to leave the field empty-handed and with 10-men after 90 minutes.
Seyed Jalal Hosseini’s goal sinks Al Wahda
Meanwhile in India, Al Wahda went down fighting to Persepolis at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Five minutes before the break, defender Seyed Jalal Hosseini scored the only goal of the match.
Al Wahda was playing second fiddle for much of the first half and it was a matter of when and not if that they would concede. Persepolis struck the woodwork in the eighth minute through Shahriyar Moghanloo and the Iranian outfit kept churning out opportunities at regular intervals.
Their goal was a result of quick exchanges between Mehdi Torabi and Ehsan Pahlavan before the skipper was set up, who made no mistake to convert from the edge of the box.
Persepolis could have added more to the tally if Torabi hadn’t squandered his chance in the 65th minute.
Al Wahda will return to action on Saturday to take on home side FC Goa, whereas Sharjah will host Tractor FC later on the same day.