Zobahan Claims Victory, Tractorsazi Trounced

Both Iranian teams paid tribute to the victims of the airplane crash in Yasuj City, southwest of Iran, by a minute of silence before their matches after the acceptance of their request by the AFC
Zobahan players celebrate victory at home.Zobahan players celebrate victory at home.

Zobahan and Tractorsazi lined up against their rivals on Monday on Matchday two of the AFC Champions League; Zobahan won its first three points of the tournament but Tractorsazi succumbed to a second defeat.

Goals from Morteza Tabrizi and Mohammad Reza Hosseini saw Iran’s Zobahan clinch a 2-0 home win over Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv in their second match in Group B at Foolad Shahr Stadium in Isfahan, AFC reported on its website.

Although the visitors dominated possession during the early parts of the game, Zobahan seemed likelier to make the breakthrough as Tabrizi and Brazilian forward Kiros Stanlley came close to scoring within the opening half-hour.

The first period ended goalless but within two minutes of the restart, the host finally took the lead. Tabrizi was well positioned to power home a header after Hosseini floated in a pin-point free kick.

Zobahan proceeded to hold on to its one-goal lead for the remainder of the half, despite the best efforts of Lokomotiv which was unable to break through a resolute defensive barrier set up by Amir Ghalenoei’s men.

In the second minute of added time, Hosseini made it 2-0 to Zobahan with a close-range strike after the Uzbek defense failed to clear Mehdi Rajabzadeh’s corner.

The result gave Zobahan its first win of the campaign, putting the team level on points with Lokomotiv in the Group B standings. The Iranian side is now second in the group behind Qatar’s Al Duhail which has collected all six points from its matches.

Zobahan will host the UAE’s Al Wahda on Matchday three while Lokomotiv travels to Doha to face Al Duhail.

 Taremi Rules

A Mehdi Taremi brace fired Al Gharafa of Qatar to a 3-0 home victory over Tractorsazi Tabriz in Group A at Thani bin Jassim Stadium in Al-Rayyan, Qatar.

Al Gharafa got off to a flyer and was in front after just 11 minutes when former Persepolis player Taremi powered in a header from Othman Al Yahri’s cross.

Back-to-back defensive mistakes from Croatian center-back Sime Gregov cost Tractorsazi another goal in the 21st minute.

The Croatian was first dispossessed by Taremi who out-muscled him to move clear on goal before selflessly squaring for Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder who had the empty goal at his mercy.

However, Gregov has recovered just in time to intercept Taremi’s pass, only to fluff his lines and watch the ball roll into the back of the net from his attempted clearance.

Tractorsazi was thrown a lifeline six minutes before the break when Rubert Quijada was fouled by Mohammad Naderi inside the box, but Mehdi Mehdipour saw his powerful strike from the spot parried away by goalkeeper Yousef Hassan.

Taremi had the chance to double his tally for the night, but his 75th minute penalty was saved by Brazilian goalkeeper Jordi Almeida.

The Iranian international, however, made up for it with a close-range finish to round the scoring in the dying seconds of the game.

The Qatari side will welcome Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli to Doha in Matchday three while Tractorsazi travels to Abu Dhabi to face Al Jazira of the UAE.

Tractorsazi is at the bottom of the Group A after Al-Ahli, Al Jazira and Al Gharafa respectively with no points.

Both Iranian teams paid tribute to the victims of the airplane crash in Yasuj City, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province in southwest of Iran, by a minute of silence before their matches after the acceptance of their request by the AFC.

A total of 60 passengers and six crew members were killed after their plane crashed in a mountainous region in central Iran on Sunday.

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