Al-Ittihad of Syria upset last year's runner-up Sepahan 2-0 on Wednesday, scoring a goal in each half and holding off the 10-man Iranian side in the opening match for both in the Asian Champions League.
|Iranian fans of Sepahan team had little to cheer at |
the end of the match [AFP]
Venezuelan striker Jesus Gomez gave Ittihad the lead the 20th minute with a curling 20-meter free kick and Abdulfattah Aga sealed the victory in the 78th minute with a spectacular shot from distance.
Sepahan played the final 69 minutes down a man after defender Mohsen Bengar was sent off by Australian referee Benjamin Williams for bringing down Yahia Al Rached as the Iranian closed on goal, and Gomez converted the ensuing free kick.
Group A is seen the toughest in West Asia with 2004 and 2005 champions Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia vying for top spot with Sepahan.
Besides Al-Ittihad Aleppo, Uzbekistan's Quruvchi completes the group.
Playing before a home crowd at Fouladshar Stadium in Isfahan and making its fourth appearance in the competition, Sepahan controlled much of the match and produced several scoring chances, but failed to finish.