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Al Jazira Draws With Esteghlal And Remains On Top

News
Tehran / Iran: 18 March 2014
 
Al Jazira returned from Iranian capital Tehran with valuable draw with their hosts Esteghlal with 2 goals to each, when they met them in Azadi Stadium on the night of Tuesday the 18th of March, as part of the 3nd day matches of the group stage of AFC Champions league.
 
Walter Zenga started the match with Ali Khaseif; Khalid Sabil. Hyungmin Shin, Musallem Fayez, Abdullah Musa; Jucilei Da Silva, Khamis Ismail, Abdullah Qasem, Abdulaziz Barrada; Ahmed Al Ghilani and Felipe Caicedo.
 
Al Jazira started the match strongly, taking the lead in just the 6th minute with a fine goal on the counter attack. Abdelaziz Barrada slotted an excellent first-time finish past Esteghlal’s goalkeeper with his left foot after Felipe Caicedo did well to hold up the ball and cut back for his Moroccan teammate in the area. 
 
In the 17th minute Mohammad Ghazi equalised for Esteghlal, getting a strong header past Ali Khaseif despite being sandwiched between Al Jazira’s two centre-backs to draw the two teams level. 
 
Esteghlal controlled possession, but Al Jazira continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack and in the 37th minute Abdullah Mousa forced a fine save from Esteghlal’s ‘keeper, whose stop ensured that the teams remained tied at the interval.
 
After only ten minutes after the restart it was Abdelaziz Barrada who netted his brace to give Al Jazira the lead once more, with the Moroccan attacking midfielder converting from Abdulla Qasem’s cross to make it 2-1 in the 56th minute. 
 
Iin the 64th minute though a bullet header by Omranzadeh from a corner caught Ali Khaseif off his line and drew the hosts level again at 2-2. 
 
In the 75th minute Felipe Caicedo had the ball in the back of the net after a rebounded effort by Ali Mabkhout but the effort was ruled out for offside. The final ten minutes saw Esteghlal pepper the visitors’ goal with shots as they attempted to snatch a winner, and in a frantic four minutes of stoppage time, Ali Khaseif made a crucial stop with his leg when Esteghlal’s Kebe looked certain to score. 
 
Barrada hit a thumping cross-goal shot which cannoned back off the far post as Al Jazira could have nicked all three points at the death, but the Pride of Abu Dhabi settled for a hard-fought draw on Iranian soil.
 
With this draw, Al Jazira added the 7th point to their credit, which helped them to remain on the top of this group without even considering the result of the second match between Qatari Al Rayyan and Saudi Al Shabab.