Aizawl FC go down to Iran’s Zob Ahan, out of AFC Champions League
Reigning I-League Champions Aizawl FC lost 1-3 to Zob Ahan of Iran in their AFC Champions League play-off match and will play in the AFC Cup this season.football Updated: Jan 30, 2018 23:43 IST
Reigning I-League champions Aizawl FC’s failed to qualify for the AFC Champions League after losing to Iran’s Zob Ahan 3-1 in a play-off match in Foolad Shahr, Iran, on Tuesday.
Zob Ahan’s skipper Mehdi Rajabzadeh opened the account while Morteza Tabrizi struck twice late in the second half.
For Aizawl, the solitary goal was scored by Andre Ionescu.
Zob Ahan struck in the third minute through a spot-kick when Lalrosanaga fouled Morteza Tabrizi inside the penalty box. Rajabzadeh converted from 12 yards with a right-footed shot slotted into the bottom left corner.
Although the first 15 minutes was dominated by the hosts, Aizawl gradually started to make in-roads through Lalrosanaga and Andrei Ionescu.
The Indian side were rewarded for their repeated inroads when the Romanian striker Ionescu scored on the 21st minute.
Ionescu’s powerful right-footer from the centre of the box beat Zob Ahan goalkeeper Mohammad Mazaheri after he connected cross delivered by Renthlei Laldinliana.
In the 83rd minute, Morteza Tabrizi’s header put them Zob Ahan ahead.
Meneses’ men were put under more misery when Tabrizi got his name on the scoresheet for the second time after he headed in from close range to the bottom left corner after latching onto a cross from Seyed Hosseni.
After this loss Aizawl gets disqualified from AFC Champions League but will get a direct entry into Group E of AFC Cup.
They are drawn with New Radiant SC from Maldives, Abahani Limited Dhaka from Bangladesh and the winner from the play-off of Central Asia.
Aizawl will get back to domestic action on February 3 when they take on Chennai City FC in I-League away from home.