Targets from Bafetimbi Gomis and Salem Al Dawsari handed Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal a 2-0 win over Esteghlal from Iran and a spot within the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League on Monday.
Gomis struck six minutes earlier than half time to offer the 2019 champions the lead and Al Dawsari successfully killed off the sport 11 minutes after the break to take Al Hilal via.
The Riyadh-based membership stay on monitor for a second title in three years after being kicked out of final yr’s competitors within the group section after a raft of optimistic COVID-19 assessments left them unable to discipline a staff.
Leonardo Jardim’s facet dictated the tempo all through the opening 45 minutes just for Esteghlal to go near scoring halfway via the half, with Al Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah Al Maoiuf pressured to show Amir Motahari’s half-volley round his left submit.
Siavash Yazdani had earlier despatched a header huge and Amirhossein Hosseinzadeh stung the fingers of Al Maoiuf from distance because the Iranians threatened.
However with six minutes remaining within the half, Al Hilal took the lead via Gomis.
Matheus Pereira, signed from West Bromich Albion final month, drew the defence in direction of him with a run throughout the face of the penalty space earlier than slipping his angled move in direction of Gomis.
Frenchman Gomis netted his fourth aim of the marketing campaign when he clipped the ball over the on-rushing Hossein Hosseini after an inopportune slip by defender Mohammad Moradmand.
Saudi Arabia worldwide Al Dawsari doubled the lead within the 56th minute when he latched onto Moussa Marega’s throughball to fit his effort underneath Hosseini.
With fixtures within the knockout section of this yr’s competitors determined over one leg fairly on a home-and-away foundation because of the pandemic, Esteghlal grew more and more determined to discover a method again into the sport.
However Al Maoiuf stored out Arman Ramezani’s header to stifle Esteghlal’s hopes as Al Hilal turned the primary membership to progress to the final eight.
The three remaining last-16 matches in west Asia will probably be performed on Tuesday, with final yr’s runners-up Persepolis taking up event debutants Istiklol from Tajikistan in Dushanbe.
Al Nassr from Saudi Arabia will face Tractor FC from Iran whereas United Arab Emirates duo Sharjah and Al Wahda may even go head-to-head.
Within the east, defending champions Ulsan Hyundai play Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale, and Nagoya Grampus meet Daegu FC on Tuesday.
Jeonbuk Motors meet BG Pathum United and Cerezo Osaka tackle Pohang Steelers on Wednesday, with the quarter-final draw to be made on Friday.
(Reporting by Michael Church, Modifying by Pritha Sarkar)