ACL Wrap – West Asia Zone

Win-or-Bust – Can Johor Darul Ta’zim beat Shandong Luneng to keep their AFC Champions League hopes alive?

Pakhtakor 0-1 Al Ain (Group B)

Miroslav Stoch scored to give Al Ain a 1-0 win over Uzbek champions Pakhtakor at Pakhtakor Stadium. The visitors needed to win after drawing their first two games against Iran's Naft Tehran and Saudi club Al Shabab. The visitors dominated and were rewarded on the hour mark when Stoch's long-range effort gave Alexander Lobanov in the Pakhtakor goal little chance. The win sees Al Ain top of the group table on five points followed by Pakhtakor on four points.


Naft Tehran 2-1 Al Shabab (Group B)
Naft Tehran won their first ever group match in dramatic fashion as late goals by Amir Motahhari and Leandro Padovani saw them come from behind to stun Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia 2-1.  The Iranian side looked to be heading for their second defeat in three games in Group B after Naif Hazazi’s 43rd minute penalty put the Saudi visitors ahead. Motahhari got the home side back on level terms with a fine volley in the 86th minute before Padovani then headed in the winner in the final minute to reward the home side’s intense second-half pressure. The win moves Naft up to four points, one behind leaders Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates who beat Uzbek champions Pakthakor 1-0, while Al Shabab are bottom of the table with two points.


Al Ahli 0-0 NASAF (Group D)
UAE side Al Ahli and NASAF from Uzbekistan drew 0-0 in their match played at the Al-Rashid Stadium in Dubai. The result has NASAF on four points and second on the table while Al Ahli are bottom sitting on two points. 


Al Ahli 2-0 Tractorsazi Tabriz (Group D)
Saudi side Al Ahli beat Tractorsazi Tabriz of Iran 2-0 at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah. The goals were scored by a Taisir Al Jassim brace in the 72nd and 80th minutes. The win keeps Al Ahli top of the group on seven points while Tabriz is in third place on four points.