x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Asian Champions League: Tractor Sazi bulldoze past Al Jazira

Iranian side beat Pro League club 3-1 in their Group A opening match despite having a man sent off.

Al Jazira's midfielder Ibrahim Diaky, left, vies for the ball against Tractorsazi midfielder Mehdi Karimian. AFP
Al Jazira's midfielder Ibrahim Diaky, left, vies for the ball against Tractorsazi midfielder Mehdi Karimian. AFP

Tractor Sazi 3 Al Jazira 1

Tractor: Seyed-Salehi 37', Kazemian 60', Ebrahimzadeh 81'

Jazira: Mabkhout 79'

Red card: Ebrahimi (Tractor)

Luis Milla's first game in charge ofAl Jazira ended in a 3-1 defeat in their Asian Champions League opener away to Tractor Sazi Tabriz of Iran last night.

Mehdi Seyed-Salehi gave the home side a 1-0 lead at the break and Javad Kazemian doubled their advantage on the hour.

Ali Mabkhout pulled one back for the Pro League side in the 79th minute but Masoud Ebrahimzadeh scored at the other end two minutes later to restore their two-goal cushion.

The Iranian side ended up with 10 players after Mohammad Ebrahimi was sent off five minutes from time, but it mattered little for Tractor Sazi on their debut in the continental championship.

Jazira had a couple of scoring opportunities in the first half when Fernandinho sent a shot wide and Ricardo Oliveira failed to convert a one-on-one with Mehdi Sabeti, the Tractor Sazi goalkeeper.

But the home side got the breakthrough in the 37th minute when the entire Jazira defence was caught napping as a Tractor Sazi player made a break down the left wing.

They seemed to be expecting the referee to blow for a free kick, but instead he put in a cross and Seyed-Salehi beat his marker to head home from close range.

Seyed-Salehi then turned provider when he lobbed a pass toward Kazemian to head past Ali Kasheif, the Jazira keeper, who fumbled the ball into the net.

Mabkhout, who replaced Ibrahim Diaky 15 minutes into the second half, gave the Abu Dhabi side some hope 11 minutes from time when he completed a fine move with Fernandinho feeding Oliveira whose pass inside the box found the UAE international and he was able to drill the ball past Sabeti.

But the fightback was brief as Ebrahimzadeh made the game safe for the Iranians in the 81st minute.

Jazira now return to the Pro League for a possible title-deciding game against Al Ain on March 3.

Man of the match: Javad Kazemian (Tractor)


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