Persepolis Eliminated From AFC Champions League

Persepolis Eliminated From AFC Champions LeaguePersepolis Eliminated From AFC Champions League

Persepolis of Iran was held to a 2-2 draw by Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in the second leg of the AFC Champions League semifinal and was eliminated from the games based on the 2-6 loss on aggregate.

On Tuesday at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman, Godwin Menshah and Omar Kharbin each scored a brace for Persepolis and Al Hilal respectively, but the draw was not enough to send the Reds to the final, Tasnim News Agency reported.

After bagging a hat-trick in the first leg of the semifinal, Kharbin proved to be the scourge of Persepolis once again, his brace ruining the home side's unlikely comeback attempts as the Iranian club looked to overturn a 0-4 loss in the first leg.

It was Persepolis' first time in the last four of the competition and the whole team was positive they could work miracles and have a dramatic comeback. That simply turned out to be an illusion.

Persepolis took the lead through Menshah’s 16th minute header after Vahid Amiri dispossessed Al Hilal’s Mohamed Al Burayk on the flank and crossed for the Nigerian to head home.

Omani referee Ahmed Abu Bakar showed Persepolis’s penalty spot 14 minutes later and Kharbin chipped the penalty past goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.

Menshah added his second in the 61st minute after he beat defender Abdullah Al Hafith to Ali Alipour’s backpass and fired into the bottom corner.

The Syrian striker’s fifth goal against the Iranian team over the two legs brought Al Hilal level in the 76th minute.

With the victory, Al Hilal booked its place in the AFC Champions League final.

 Japanese Finalist

In the other semifinal match Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan defeated China’s Shanghai SIPG 1-0 in the second leg on Wednesday to secure a 2-1 aggregate win.

According to, Rafael Silva’s 11th minute header decided a nail-biting tie at Saitama Stadium in Urawa’s favor, sending the Japanese side into their first continental final since they won the competition in 2007.

It was actually SIPG that had the first chance of the evening as the Chinese looked for a crucial away goal; however, they could not score any and failed to reach the final.

Urawa will now travel to Riyadh for the first leg of the final against 2014 runners-up Al Hilal on November 18, before hosting the decisive second leg a week later, when they will hope to become the first Japanese side to win the AFC Champions League since Gamba Osaka in 2008.

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