TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Iran’s Persepolis FC flexed their credentials as favorites as they came from behind to defeat Al Rayyan SC 3-1 in Group E of the 2021 AFC Champions League at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.
Persepolis turned on the power in the second half as they added to the 1-0 opening day win against UAE’s Al Wahda FSCC while Al Rayyan were left in search of their first victory, having been held 0-0 by FC Goa on Matchday One.
Persepolis raced off the blocks and wasted no time in asserting themselves, coming close to opening the scoring after just three minutes when Vahid Amiri raced down the left flank and relayed the ball to Shahriyar Moghanlou, who found himself in a one on one situation with Al Rayyan goalkeeper Fahad Younis, but the forward was flagged offside.
The Iran Pro League champions continued to press with their free flowing passing but Al Rayyan were up to task with their sound defending.
Perspolos coach Yahya Golmohammadi praised his players for not giving up as his team fought back to defeat Al-Rayyan of Qatar 3-1.
Persepolis, runner-up in 2018 and 2020, was a goal down for the first time this season but mounted a second half resurgence to maintain its perfect start to the campaign after having defeated Al-Wahda 1-0 on Matchda .
"We entered the second half with the drive and motivation that we could win the match,” said Golmohammadi. "We never once lost that self-confidence and therefore we won.”
"The whole team is built this way. We achieved this victory with teamwork and never once surrendered or admitted defeat.
"In fact, we wanted to score a fourth goal but that didn’t happen. I’m proud of my players for what they accomplished. We owe it all to our fans because without them we will not have that desire to succeed,” he concluded.