In Pictures: Al Shabab give Esteghlal a tough fight
May 16, 2013
The Asian Champions League last-16 first-leg fixture between Iran's Esteghlal and Al Shabab was supposed to be a one-sided game. But the hosts put up a good fight. Here, Esteghlal's Hashem Beizadeh, right, challenges Ciel, the Al Shabab star, for the ball???
Al Shabab even led by a goal at the end of the first half with the Dubai side's attack muscling its way throughout the first 45 minutes. Al Ittihad
The game was expected to be physical given the rivalry between clubs from both these countries. The players did not disappoint. Al Ittihad
The bulk of the battle was in the midfield with both sides making moves forward. Al Ittihad
It was a different story in the second half, though, with Esteghlal attacking harder while Shabab, with a 1-0 lead, content to defend. Here, Khosro Heidari, of Esteghlal, goes past Shabab's Ali Hamdan in an attempt to score. Satish Kumar / The National
Azizbek Haydarov, the Al Shabab hero furing the group stage, is stopped in his tracks by Jlloyd Samuel. Satish Kumar / The National
A few attempts to make a break, like Ciel tries here, went in vain with the likes of Khosro Heidari as competitive. Satish Kumar / The National
Javad Nekonam, the Esteghlal star, is rewarded for his persistence when he scores his team's second goal as the visitors go into the lead for the first time in the game. It took the Iranians 72 minutes to do that. But they eventually proved strong in the ???