AFC Champions League Review: Embarrassing Panenka costs Persepolis

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Persepolis had to settle for a goalless draw with Al Rayyan in the AFC Champions League after striker Mehdi Taremi fired a Paneka penalty attempt over the crossbar.

Taremi was handed the chance to give the Iranian side the lead from the spot one minute before half time after he had been brought down in the box by Mosaab Kheder.

But his abysmal chipped effort from 12 yards comfortably cleared the bar.

Iran international Taremi tried to make amends early in the second half but crashed a header against the bar.

Qatari outfit Al Rayyan almost made Taremi's day even more miserable by snatching all three points in stoppage time, but the hosts were spared when Sebastian Soria's long-range effort struck the post.

The draw keeps Persepolis two points behind Al Rayyan in third position with two Group D matches to play.

AL-HILAL GRAB TOP SPOT

That draw in Tehran gave Al-Hilal the opportunity to take advantage and they duly did that, claiming top spot with a 1-0 home victory over Al Wahda.

It was a tale of two penalties at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, with Carlos Eduardo scoring what proved to be the winner with a 24th-minute spot-kick after Leo Bonatini had been fouled by Rashed Ali in the box.

Al Wahda had the chance to equalise two minutes before the break, but Al-Hilal keeper Abdullah Al Maiouf saved Sebastian Tagliabue's penalty, which had been awarded for a handball from Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri.

Omar Kharbin later hit the post for the hosts, who remain unbeaten in this season's competition.

 

LEKHWIYA SEIZE CONTROL OF GROUP B

Lekhwiya took a huge step towards the knockout stages by coming from behind to beat Esteghlal Khuzestan 2-1 and move top of Group B.

Aloys Nong put the visitors with a neat finish in front after nine minutes, but Nam Tae-hee was the hosts' hero as they turned the match on its head before half time.

The South Korea international levelled the match after 35 minutes with a magnificent curling strike from 20 yards.

And Nam then set up Almoez Ali to strike from close range two minutes before the break and that proved enough for a deserved victory, with Lekhwiya leapfrogging their oppoenents - who suffer their first defeat - into top spot as a result.

Esteghlal Khuzestan are second after the other match in the group finished in a 0-0 draw between Al Jazira and Al-Fateh.