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Dame Traore (left) of Qatar’s Lekhwiya fights for the ball with Hassan Safar of UAE’s Al-Shabab during their AFC Champions League match at the Abdulla Bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha, in this file picture of February 27, 2013. Lekhwiya won 2-1.
Doha: Iran Pro League runners-up Tractorsazi will be looking to build on their impressive home win over Al Jazira last month when they take on Qatar’s Eljaish in the AFC Champions League (ACL) Group A match here today.
Roared on by a 70,000 crowd at Yadegar Emam Stadium, Mehdi Seyed-Salehi, Javad Kazemeyan and Masoud Ebrahimzadeh scored as Antonio Oliveira’s side made the ideal start to their maiden continental campaign.
Oliveira will be without Mohammad Ebrahimi today after the striker was sent-off against Al Jazira, although midfielder Ghasem Dehnavi is available after missing the win in Tabriz due to suspension.
“Our aim is to get a second victory, but this doesn’t mean that the match will be easy as we will be playing away and Eljaish will be trying to make a good comeback after their defeat against Al Shabab,” said Oliveira.
“Winning against Al Jazira gave us a lot of motivation, but the match will be very hard against El Jaish who have good players and they will start the match with an attacking plan and we must be ready to face such a performance.”
Eljaish head into the contest after beating Al Wakra 1-0 in the Qatar Stars League (QSL) at the end of last week, although coach Razvan Lucescu will be without striker Abdulqadir Ilyas due to a hamstring injury.
“We are ready for the match although we are going to play against a team who haven’t lost in their last 10 matches. Tractor (sazi) have good organisation and we must play very well against them and have a better performance to win the match,” said Romanian coach Lucescu.
“We have a lot of motivation to get a good result and we learnt a lot from the first match against Al Shabab (Saudi Arabia) as our players gained some experience of the competition and we must start the game well if we want to get a good result,” he added.
Eljaish lost 2-0 to Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia in their first match of the group.
In today’s other match, QSL defending champions Lekhwiya take on Al Ettifaq of Saudi Arabia in the Group B encounter in Dammam.
The Eric Gerets coached side will be looking to consolidate their position in the group having won the first match 2-1 against Al Shabab Al Arabi of UAE in the home match.
The Saudi Arabian side on the other hand began their campaign on the losing note going down 1-0 to Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan.
Two other Qatari clubs, Al Rayyan and Al Gharafa will be in action tomorrow.
In Group C, Al Ahli embark on their 2013 campaign with a home match against Qatari side Al Gharafa tomorrow at King Abdulaziz Sport City in Sharayea.
In other match involving a Qatari club tomorrow, Al Rayyan host Esteghlal in a repeat of their opening fixture a year ago when the Iranian side won 1-0 at the Al Rayyan Stadium thanks to a stoppage-time winner by Goran Jerkovic.
Among other fixtures this week, 2006 winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors play Guangzhou Evergrande in Jeonju, and 2007 champions Urawa Reds host Muangthong United, both today.