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Al Jazira Accept Their First Asian Defeat to Esteghlal

News
Abu Dhabi: 2 April 2014
 
Al Jazira team lost their match against their Iranian guests Esteghlal with only one goal, when they welcomed them in Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium at the night of Wednesday the second of April as part of the 4th week of Asia Champions League.
 
Walter Zenga started the match with Ali Khaseif, Khalid Sabil, Musallem Fayez, Hyungmin Shin, Abdullah Musa; Khamis Ismail, Jucilei Da Silva, Abdulaziz Barrada; Ahmed Al Ghilani, Felipe Caicedo and Ali Mabkhout.
 
Al Jazira started the game brightly and in the 10th minute Ali Mabkhout's shot forced a low safe from Mahdi Rahmati to turn it round the post for a corner. 
 
A minute later some great build-up play from Felipe Caicedo and Mabkhout set up Ahmed Al Ghilani for a shot from a tight angle, but the goalkeeper turned the 18-year-old's effort behind for another corner. 
 
In the 15th minute play again opened up going forward for Al Ghilani but as the Esteghlal defence closed in around him, the young Al Jazira star put his effort wide. 
 
In the 25th minute Mohammad Ghazi went close with a header for Esteghlal but the next good chance fell to Al Jazira again, as Hyungmin Shin hit the side netting from Abdelaziz Barrada's free kick. 
 
The chances kept coming for Al Jazira as Mabkhout saw two good attempts blocked on the line in quick succession and another effort go wide just before half time, but despite tier dominance it remained goalless at the break.
 
The second half started in similar fashion with Mabkhout seeing yet another shot cleared off the line, but Esteghlal soon had a good chance of their own as Ali Khaseif made a crucial save in the 52nd minute to keep out Pejman Nouri. 
 
Al Jazira were dealt a blow when Abdullah Mousa was forced off on a stretcher with a bad injury following a high-impact challenge, with defender Juma Abdulla coming on in his place after 65 minutes. But for all their opportunities, Al Jazira fell behind against the run of play as Mohammad Ghazi fired a fine finish high into the net to give Esteghlal a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute. 
 
Going a goal up gave the visitors a boost and in the 81st minute former English Premier League midfielder Andranik Teymourian tried his luck from long range, stinging the palms of Ali Khaseif. 
 
Al Jazira threw everything forward in an attempt to find an equaliser, and one almost came in the final minute of normal time but Caicedo's effort was saved and Ali Mabkhout saw his bicycle kick fly just over the crossbar as it was not to be Al Jazira's day.
 
This defeat froze Al Jazira credit at 7 points, and the team lost their leading seat to Al Shabab who won over Al Rayyan with two goals and climbed the table with 9 points.