Al Feiha complete Saudi sweep as Persepolis exit Asian Champions League

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Al Feiha complete Saudi sweep as Persepolis exit Asian Champions League
Al Feiha beat Pakhtakor 4-1
Al Feiha beat Pakhtakor 4-1
Twitter @TheAFCCL
Al Feiha ensured a full house of Saudi Pro League sides in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League on Tuesday as a 4-1 win over Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor saw Vuk Rasovic's team pip Persepolis from Iran to a berth in the knockout rounds.

Junior Fashion Sakala scored twice to help secure Al Feiha's victory over Maksim Shatkikh's side in Tashkent, which coupled with Persepolis' 2-1 loss in Tehran against Qatar's Al-Duhail took Al Feiha through as one of the three best runners-up.

Al Feiha finished second in Group A behind Al Ain, who won 2-1 against Turkmenistan's Ahal, but their nine points saw them take the final runners-up berth in the last 16 after Navbahor and Sepahan had already claimed the first two slots.

Only the winners of the 10 groups across the western and eastern halves of the continent were guaranteed to progress to the knockout rounds, with the three runners-up with the best records from each side of the continent also going through.

Persepolis, beaten finalists in 2018 and 2020, needed a win over already-eliminated Al-Duhail at a packed Azadi Stadium to progress and took a seventh-minute lead through Shahab Zahedi.

But Mohammed Muntari levelled two minutes later and, after Persepolis' Giorgi Gvelesiani hit the bar with an 81st-minute penalty, Al-Duhail stole the three points when Michael Olunga scored on the break seven minutes from time.

The loss left Persepolis in second place in Group E and on eight points, one fewer than Al Feiha.

Riyadh's Al Nassr had already confirmed themselves as Group E winners ahead of Tuesday's games and a side missing Cristiano Ronaldo was held to a 1-1 draw by Tajikistan's Istiqlol in Dushanbe.

Alisher Dzhalilov gave the home side the lead in the 32nd minute from distance but Abdulrahman Ghareeb levelled five minutes into the second half as Al Nassr finished the group phase unbeaten.

Fellow Saudis Al Ittihad and Al Hilal had already confirmed their places in the next round by winning Groups C and D respectively while Uzbekistan's Nasaf advanced on Monday as Group B winners.

The draw for the round of 16 will be held in Kuala Lumpur on December 28th and the first legs of the knockout phase will be played from February 12th-14th with the return fixtures held from February 19th-21st.

The quarter-finals will be played in March, with the semi-finals in April and the two-legged final on May 11th and 18th.

View all the results and follow the Asian Champions League here.

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