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AFC Champions League 2017 Roundup: Crucial wins for Al Hilal and Kawasaki Frontale

Goal.com logo Goal.com 23-05-2017

The Round of 16 fixtures in the AFC Champions League 2017 continued on Tuesday with first legs of four fixtures taking place. Let's take a peek at what transpired in them:

ESTEGHLAL KHOUZESTAN 1-2 AL HILAL [Beit Saeid 42' - Al Zori 52' Eduardo 57']

Al Hilal effected a second-half turnaround to inflict a 2-1 home defeat on Iran's Esteghlal Khouzestan on Tuesday in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash.

Hassan Beit Saeid gave the Iranian team the lead three minutes before half-time when Peyman Shirzadi crossed from the left and Beit Saeid nodded the ball beyond Abdullah Al Muaiouf in the Al Hilal goal. A stunned Al Hilal did not take long to hit back. Seven minutes after the restart, Abdullah Al Dossary chested down a half-clearance inside the box and lashed home a left-footer to level the scores.

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Just five minutes later, the Saudi side were in the lead. Nicolas Milesi swung in the corner and Carlos Eduardo headed it in to seal a crucial win for Al Hilal ahead of the second leg.

PERSEPOLIS 0-0 LEKHWIYA

Iranian outfit Persepolis played out a tight 0-0 draw at home with Qatar's Lekhwiya SC in the first leg of their Round of 16 fixture on Tuesday. Lekhwiya won't be too upset with the result while Persepolis will be ruing their luck after Mehdi Taremi missed a penalty.

It was Mehdi Taremi to whom the first chance of the game fell early on when he headed over before Luiz Junior’s fizzing effort from distance struck the post on 15 minutes. Post the restart, both teams had chances to take the lead. First, Mohsen Mosalman fired wide from inside the area while Lekhwiya's Nam Tae Hee saw his curler tipped over by Alireza Beiranvand. With just 10 minutes remaining, Persepolis were given a huge chance to open the scoring when Ali Afif nudged Taremi in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot.

However, Taremi, the tournament's leading scorer, saw his penalty pushed away by the Lekhwiya goalkeeper, leaving all to play for in the second leg.

MUANGTHONG UNITED 1-3 KAWASAKI FRONTALE [Dangda 45+3' - Nakamura 66' Kobayashi 69' Abe 89']

Kawasaki Frontale came back from a goal down to defeat Thai outfit Muangthong United 3-1 away which sees take a huge advantage going into the second leg.

It was the home side who took the lead on Tuesday at the stroke of half-time. Chanathip Songkrasin dummied Theeraton Bunmathan’s ball, allowing Teerasil Dangda to find the bottom corner from 20 yards out. However, the feel good factor in the Thunderdome stadium was cast away by a clinical performance from the visitors. They got the equaliser in the 66th minute when Kengo Nakamura brought down Shintaro Kurumaya’s header across goal and fired home.

Three minutes later, Kawasaki had the lead, thanks to Yu Kobayashi's brilliant volley from Akihiro Ienaga’s cross. The scoreline would get even worse for the Thai side as Kobayashi turned provider this time, teeing up Hiroyuki Abe to tap home a minute from time to complete an emphatic victory.

GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE 1-0 KASHIMA ANTLERS [Paulinho 75']

Chinese outfit Guangzhou Evergrande got themselves a 1-0 win over Japan's Kashima Antlers on Tuesday, courtesy a 75th minute winner from Brazil international Paulinho.

It was Guangzhou, two-time winners of the AFC Champions League, who dominated the tie throughout but had to wait till the 75th minute for a goal to show for their efforts. Antlers goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-tae was kept a busy man between the sticks by the Chinese team's attack and had to pull off several important saves. However, all his heroics couldn't keep Paulinho from converting a flicked low corner at the backpost to ensure his team went into the second leg with a narrow advantage.

The result is not disastrous for Kashima Antlers who now have to turn in a strong home performance in the second leg.

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