Doha: Baghdad Bounedjah netted a dramatic late winner to give Qatar's Al Sadd a 1-0 win over Islamic Republic of Iran's Persepolis in their Group D clash on Matchday Two of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
Both sides were looking for their first win of the competition, and that attacking intent resulted in end-to-end action early on. Persepolis were unlucky not to score in the ninth minute after somehow failing to tap the ball in during a goalmouth scramble.
Al Sadd's Akram Afif then saw his curling effort take a deflection and miss the goal by inches. Over at the other end, Al Sadd goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb produced a stunning reflex save to deny Ahmed Noorollahi.
Group C: Al Hilal SFC (KSA) 3-1 Al Duhail SC (QAT)
Riyadh: A three-minute double-salvo late into the second half secured a 3-1 win for Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal over Al Duhail of Qatar at the King Saud University Stadium on Matchday Two of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group C on Tuesday.
Both sides had started their campaigns with a win, Al Hilal overcoming Al Ain 1-0 and Al Duhail putting three past Esteghlal in their respective group openers.
Sebastian Giovinco and Eduardo were a constant nuisance to the Qatari defence throughout. The pair combined as early as the fifth minute with the Italian crossing for Eduardo whose effort went inches above the crossbar.
Group D: Pakhtakor (UZB) 1-0 Al Ahli Saudi FC (KSA)
Tashkent: Marat Bikmaev's second-half free-kick proved to be the difference as Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan defeated Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli 1-0 in a Group D clash on Tuesday, earning the first win of their 2019 AFC Champions League campaign.
While Al Ahli came into the game on the back of an opening day 2-0 win at home over Al Sadd, Pakhtakor had only one point in their tally following a 1-1 draw with Persepolis in Tehran.
Hosts Pakhtakor started the first half strongly and Bikmaev had a great opportunity to put his side ahead in the 18th minute but his shot failed to trouble Al Ahli keeper Mohammed Al Owais. That would be the story of the first half, with Pakhtakor carving up a number of chances, only to be let down by their finishing.
Tehran: UAE’s Al Ain fought back to earn a late 1-1 draw against Islamic Republic of Iran’s Esteghlal at Azadi Stadium on Matchday Two of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group C on Tuesday.
A cautious start to the game saw both sides limited to shy attempts in the opening 20 minutes. Al Ain’s Rayan Yaslam tried his luck on the half-volley from outside the box, but Mehdi Rahmati easily saved, and Bandar Mohamed sent his effort from the free-kick wide and high.
At the other end of the pitch Mohamed Fayez threw his body to block Farshid Bagheri’s shot in the 23rd minute, which was headed goalward with Al Ain goalkeeper Khaled Eisa fallen on the ground having punched away the cross.
Group E: Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS) 1-1 Gyeongnam FC (KOR)
Johor Bahru: Diogo's 68th spot-kick gave Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim their first ever AFC Champions League point when they came from behind to hold Gyeongnam FC of Korea Republic 1-1 in a Group E tie on Tuesday.
JDT’s Safawi Rasid forced an early save from Lee Bum-soo as his curling shot threatened to sneak in at the far post.
Diogo Luis Santo must have impressed the watching Ronaldo with an audacious attempt in the 24th minute. After a flowing move, the ball made its way to S. Kunanlan on the right and his cross was met with an overhead kick that flew just over.
Group F: Daegu FC (KOR) 3-1 Guangzhou Evergrande FC (CHN)
Daegu: A brace from Edgar and a goal from Kim Dae-won saw AFC Champions League debutants Daegu FC stun two-time winners Guangzhou Evergrande 3-1 in Tuesday’s Group F Matchday Two clash at the Forest Arena.
Buoyed by a maiden Continental win away at Melbourne Victory by the same scoreline on Matchday One, the hosts were on top for the opening spell in their AFC Champions League home debut against the Chinese heavyweights.
Group F: Sanfrecce Hiroshima (JPN) 2-1 Melbourne Victory (AUS)
Hiroshima: A late goal from Daiki Watari earned Sanfrecce Hiroshima a hard earned 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory in their Group F encounter at Hiroshima Athletic Stadium on Tuesday.
With Japanese superstar Keisuke Honda playing his first competitive club match in Japan since he left Nagoya Grampus in 2007, it was he who had the first sight of goal but his effort was straight at Hirotsugu Nakabayashi.
But less than a minute after, the home side had the ball in the back of the net at the other end after Brazilian striker Patric, getting the better of the Melbourne defence, cut the ball back for Shunki Higashi to sidefoot the ball home to give his side a dream start.