Home advantage key, insists Resan
Tehran: Persepolis midfielder Bashar Resan has warned Al Duhail that they face a “difficult” task to advance to the AFC Champions League semi-finals ahead of the second leg of the quarter-finals at Azadi Stadium next Monday.
Al Duhail travel to the Islamic Republic of Iran with a slender lead after Almoez Ali’s first-leg goal was enough to secure a 1-0 victory and a record-equaling ninth successive win in the competition for the Qatari side.
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But Persepolis boast a 100 percent record in front of their support having won four from four at Azadi Stadium and the Iranian giants overturned a one-goal deficit in the previous round when a 2-1 home victory saw them edge past the United Arab Emirates’ Al Jazira on away goals.
"Al Duhail tried to score more than one goal knowing that the second leg will be difficult in Iran in front of our fans,” said Iraq international Resan, who made his first start on the continent this season in the first leg.
“They weren't very dangerous, they just had more possession than us. There is now a second leg to play in Iran and, obviously, it will be a tough one.
“Hopefully, we will be able to satisfy our fans in Iran and also those who supported us here in Qatar."
Having reached the AFC Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 2017, Persepolis were making their second successive appearance in the last eight two weeks ago.
But the Tehran side saw key midfielders Vahid Amiri and Farshad Ahmadzadeh as well as defender Sadegh Moharrami depart in the summer months, making their quarter-final task against the tournament’s form team all the more difficult.
With places up for grabs in the midfield, though, Resan – who coach Branko Ivancovic has summoned from the bench five times in the competition – was handed a central midfield role and was one of his side’s best performers on the night.
"They're a big team and haven't lost in a long time,” added Resan. “It was a tough match and Qatari teams are generally difficult to play at their home."
"We had some chances in both halves; we missed two or three good chances. We weren't bad and we can even say that it was a good match – 1-0 was not a bad result for us."
Photo: Getty Images
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