Monday, December 11, 2017

Al Hilal 4 Persepolis 0: Kharbin treble puts Al Hilal in complete control

Omar Kharbin hit a hat-trick as Al Hilal thrashed Persepolis 4-0 in the first leg of their AFC Champions League semi-final on Tuesday – despite playing 40 minutes with 10 men.

The two-time champions survived the dismissal of Abdullah Ateef early in the second half to emphatically end their opponents’ seven-game unbeaten run in the competition.

Picked out at the back post by a deep cross from the right, an unmarked Kharbin nodded home from close range to give Al Hilal a deserved lead in the 31st minute.

Yasir Al Shahrani doubled the advantage before the interval, as his effort from the edge of the box skipped beyond goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to put the hosts in complete control.

Persepolis were fortunate to only be two behind after a one-sided opening half, although they were given a boost when Ateef picked up two bookings in as many minutes.

Still, the numerical disadvantage didn’t stop Ramon Diaz’s side from pulling further clear in the second half.

Kharbin angled home a shot to make it 3-0 before going on to complete his hat-trick in the 89th minute, the Syria international steering in a low cross from the right as the visitors were caught short of numbers at the back.

The one-sided result makes Al Hilal firm favourites to progress to the final, where they will play the winners of the tie between Urawa Reds and Shanghai SIPG.

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