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2020 AFC Champions League – Quarter-Finals in review


Doha: As the 2020 AFC Champions League draws to a conclusion with Persepolis FC and Ulsan Hyundai FC contesting the edition’s final, the-AFC.com looks back at how the quarter-final stage unfolded.

In the West zone, an all-Saudi tie between Al Nassr and Al Ahli got the quarter-final action underway at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, and eventual finalists Persepolis took on Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor later on that night, with both ties ending with the same score line.

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Summer signing Pity Martinez opened his Al Nassr account with a tapped-in effort from close range after being teed up by Khaled Al Ghannam to put his side ahead early on. Former Al Ahli playmaker Abdulfattah Asiri showed his former employers what they missed as he put the tie to bed 10 minutes into the second half.

2020 AFC Champions League (West): Quarter-finals Review

Hitherto one of his side’s standout performers in the competition, Jaloliddin Masharipov derailed Pakhtakor’s fortunes as his reckless challenge at the quarter-hour mark saw him receive his marching orders.

Ten-man Pakhtakor were left with a mountain to climb, and Persepolis capitalised with Isa Alkasir netting a second-half brace to seal victory for the Iranian team.

2020 AFC Champions League (East) - Quarter-final: Review

Fast forward three months to the East zone quarter-final ties at Al Janoub Stadium which saw Ulsan Hyundai lock horns with Beijing FC while debutants Vissel Kobe faced Suwon Samsung Bluewings in a game that went all the way to a penalty shootout.

Junior Negrao sent the opposition goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot to put Ulsan Hyundai in the lead with an early penalty, before firing a howitzer from range on the stroke of half-time to double his tally. A late Beijing FC rally produced no goals as the Chinese side bowed out to a 2-0 defeat.

With Andres Iniesta deemed only fit enough for a place on the bench, Vissel Kobe found themselves behind to a Park Sang-hyeok header inside seven minutes.

As the first-half headed to a close, an initial penalty kick decision for the Japanese side was overturned by VAR as the foul had taken place outside the box while Suwon Samsung Bluewings defender Kim Tae-hwan was sent off and the Korean’s woes were compounded immediately when Kyogo Furuhashi sent the resulting free-kick underneath the wall and into the back of the net for an equaliser.

Vissel Kobe’s numerical advantage, 30 minutes of extra time, the introduction of Iniesta late on and six penalty shots all could not separate the two sides until Jang Ho-ik’s missed the seventh for Suwon Samsung Bluewings, allowing the Kobe-based side to progress to the semi-final with a 7-6 score.

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