x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Al Wahda earn point against Persepolis in ACL

Hassan Ameen's 52nd strike was cancelled out by a 64th minute equaliser from Hossein Badamaki as Al Wahda settled for a draw.

Persepolis's Hadi Norouzi tries to chase down Al Wahda's Issa Ahmed in Tehran. Behrouz Mehri / AFP
Persepolis's Hadi Norouzi tries to chase down Al Wahda's Issa Ahmed in Tehran. Behrouz Mehri / AFP

Al Wahda, the Pro League champions, put their domestic woes to one side last night as they claimed a hard-fought point in the Asian Champions League.

The 1-1 result against the Iranian powerhouse Persepolis takes Wahda's tally to two points from two games and they are now second in Group C behind Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia, the two-time winners of the continental title, who beat the Uzbek side Bunyodkor 1-0 for their second win of the tournament.

The Wahda defence stuck manfully to their task and held the home team scoreless in the first half at the Azadi Stadium in Esfahan.



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Then, after the break, Hassan Ameen put Wahda ahead in the 53rd minute, but Hossein Badamaki levelled the scores 12 minutes later.

Ameen sidestepped Saman Aghazamani, the Persepolis defender, and sent a shot to the far corner of the net to break the deadlock.

The equaliser came when Badamaki tapped in a pass from Mohammed Nori to complete a superb move from the left flank.

Wahda could have doubled their lead before Persepolis scored when Hugo, the Brazilian midfielder, split the defence with a neat pass to Mohammed al Shehhi, who drew Rahman Ahmadi, the goalkeeper, but shot wide.

Ismail Matar, the Wahda striker, later failed to connect with a looping free kick from Hugo, who played as a forward in the absence of his injured compatriot Fernando Baiano.

Adel al Hosani, the Wahda goalkeeper was outstanding at the other end. The Emirati pulled off an excellent save to push out Nori's header from eight yards and he did well to punch the ball away from the ensuing corner.

And al Hosani kept his concentration right to the end as he held on to a powerful header from Nori and stopped a close-range shot from Alireza Nourmohammdi with just 10 seconds left of the six minutes of added time.

* Compiled by Amith Passela