Sepahan FC, club from IR Iran came back from a first half deficit to beat Pakhtakor FC, club from Uzbekistan with a score 3-1 in the AFC Champions League 2022 group stage, Group D at King Abdullah Sport City Stadium, Buraidah.
The first 20 minutes saw both sides battle it out for control as they sought to find their feet, with the closest either of them coming to a sight of goal ending with the referee’s assistants flagging Khojimat Erkinov and Sajjad Shahbazadeh offside.
Midway through the first half, Soroush Rafiei whipped in a corner straight at the head of Giorgi Gvelesiani, with the Georgian getting a point-blank header on goal that was somehow saved by Eldorbek Suyonov.
The first goal of the AFC Champions League 2022 edition was scored 28 minutes into the game by the Tashkent-based side through club captain Ceran. The explosive Khojiakbar Alijonov took the ball upfield down the right, firing in a low cross towards the area that was intelligently flicked by Erkinov into Ceran’s path, the latter making no mistake from close range to make it 1-0.
Minutes before the break, Suyonov pulled off an incredible save from Mohammed Reza Hosseini, who had a straight run at the keeper after being teed up by Shahriyar Moghanlou, but the former’s shot was straight at the Uzbek keeper.
Just after the break, Moghanlou picked up where he left off in the AFC Champions League 2021 edition, when he elegantly tapped in the equaliser for the Isfahan-based side following a brilliantly placed cross from a corner by Farshad Ahmedzadeh, with Suyonov having next to nothing to do as the ball flew past him to restore parity at 1-1.
With 55 minutes on the clock, Moghanlou took his team ahead from yet another set-piece situation that involved Ahmedzadeh, who looped the ball into the area for the marginally onside Mohammed Nejad Mehdi, who headed the ball down into Moghanlou’s path leaving him to tap-in past Suyonov to make the score 2-1.
Hosseini wrapped up the win with Sepahan’s third goal with 70 minutes on the clock, but credit goes to Danial Esmaelifar who took on no less than three players en route to flicking the ball with just the right weight for Hosseini to fire past Suyonov.
Ceran hit the bar in the closing stages, and talismanic winger Sardor Rashidov was brought on to steady the ship but the damage was already done as Sepahan picked up their first three points.
Source : AFC
Credit Photo : Pakhtakor FC