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ACL2020: Iran league title fuelled Persepolis against Al Taawoun, says Resan

Doha: Midfielder Bashar Resan said winning the Iran Pro League title in August gave Persepolis FC the boost to defeat Saudi Arabia's Al Taawoun in their AFC Champions League Group C tie on Tuesday.

A late goal from Shojae Khalilzadeh goal gave the Islamic Republic of Iran side their first win of the competition and moved them to two points behind Al Taawoun, who remained on top despite the defeat.

Resan said Persepolis' runaway victory in the Iran Pro League fuelled their desire to get the win.

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“We went into the match with great motivation after winning the league title,” said the 23-year-old Iraqi international. “The AFC Champions League is a tough competition and it’s been a while since we played such high-level matches.

“We struggled a bit in the first half as there are five new players in our squad. However, our understanding improved in the second half and we managed to get the three points."

Group C - MD3: Persepolis FC 1-0 Al Taawoun FC

Resan said defeating the group leaders meant Persepolis have a good chance of advancing to the knockout stage.

“Al Taawoun are the group leaders and they are a good side,” he said. “The most important thing for us was to win in order to remain in contention in such a difficult group.

“We have another match in three days against Al Taawoun and we must play even better in order to fight for a place in the knockout stage."

Al Taawoun midfielder Fahad Al Rashidi kept his head high as he is confident the Saudi outfit will recover from the defeat and take their place in the knockout stage.

“We gave our best but unfortunately, we didn’t get what we wanted,” said the 23-year-old midfielder.

“There is nothing impossible in football and the good thing is that we are still top of the group. We must strive to get better results in the coming matches.”

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