QASIM Burhan made a stunning save to deny striker Mehdi Taremi’s effort from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute as Lekhwiya held Iran’s Persepolis goalless in their AFC Champions League pre-quarterfinal’s first leg in Tehran on Tuesday.
At an empty Azadi Stadium, following fans’ misconduct in their last group match against the UAE’s Al Wahda, the home side dominated possession and created more chances. However, it was the Qatar Stars League champions who came close to scoring in the 15th, when Luiz Martin’s powerful shot from outside the box hit the post.
Taremi, who made several forays into the Cops’ area, seemed to provide the hosts with the breakthrough when Ali Afif brought him down inside the box with a nudge from behind. But veteran keeper Burhan thwarted him by diving to his left, giving Lekhwiya the upper hand ahead of the return leg on May 30.
Meanwhile, Paulinho’s late strike put Guangzhou Evergrande in the driving seat as they beat Kashima Antlers 1-0.
Kawasaki Frontale struck three times in the second half to beat Muangthong United 3-1. Iran’s Esteghlal claimed a 1-0 win over Al Ain while another UAE side Al Ahli let slip the advantage in a 1-1 draw with Saudi’s Al Ahli last Monday. dsp