Football

Saudi Arabian clash between Al-Nassr, Al-Ahli in ACL quarter-final

The line-up for the AFC Champions League quarter-finals in the west zone is complete, with two Saudi teams to face off.

Saudi Arabian clash between Al-Nassr, Al-Ahli in ACL quarter-final
MUSTAFA ABUMUNES AFP

The quarter-final draw for the AFC Champions Leaugue west region, which was held in the Qatari capital Doha, resulted into a box-office clash between the two Saudi sides Al-Nassr and Al-Ahli, while Iranians Persepolis are set to face Pakhtakor Tashkent of Uzbekistan.

The draw was held by the Asian Football Confederation on Monday after the round of 16 games for the west group were completed on Sunday night, with Al-Nassr and Persepolis having completed the four teams representing the west zone.

Saudi Arabian teams go head-to-head in the quarter-finals

Previous rounds of the tournament witnessed the elimination of the other two Saudi Arabian sides, as Al-Taawon were defeated by Al-Nassr in the round of 16, while Al-Hilal were disqualified by the AFC during the last round of group-stage games, despite topping the standings, due to the Covid-19 crisis that hit the team's squad prior to their game against Shabab Al-Ahli.

The round of 16 games in the east region are yet to be held in Malaysia, where the AFC decided to continue this exceptional version of the competition due to the ongoing pandemic.

Results of the four west-region teams in the round of 16

Persepolis yesterday secured a dramatic 1-0 victory over Al-Sadd to book their spot in the quarter-final with an 88th-minute winner from Isa Al Kasir. Meanwhile, Al-Taawon endured a 1-0 defeat to their local rival Al-Nassr, courtesy of a strike from Abderrazak Hamdallah, who managed to score his sixth goal in the competition.

Al-Ahli, who finished top of Group A, managed to seal a spot in the quarter-final after a 4-3 win on penalties over Shabab Al-Ahli from Dubai, after extra-time ended with a 1-1 draw.

The fourth team competing in the next round from the west region are Pakhtakor, who hadn't qualified for the quarter-finals since 2009. The Uzbekistan team got past Esteghlal FC of Iran with a 2-1 victory in the round of 16, and now encounter another Iranian rival in the next round.