Riyadh, April 9: Al Nassr found form in the AFC Champions League as a 4-1 hiding of Al Zawraa boosted their hopes of escaping a tight Group A.
The emphatic come-from-behind victory lifted the previously winless Saudi club to within a point of their second-placed opponents, who had gone ahead in the 12th minute through Ahmad Fadel.
Al Zawraa's loss allowed Zob Ahan to take command of the group – a 3-1 win at Al Wasl moving them three points clear in first place.
FULL-TIME | @AlNassrFC_EN (KSA) 🇸🇦 4-1 🇮🇶 @alzawraasc (IRQ)— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) April 8, 2019
Al Nassr extend their lead to 4-1 in the second half to secure three crucial points in their #ACL2019 group-stages campaign. #NSRvZAW pic.twitter.com/Vzi3imphUt
Esteghlal were the day's other winners, first-half goals from Ali Karimi and Pejman Montazeri enough for a 2-1 home victory over Group C leaders Al Hilal.
Bafetimbi Gomis responded for Zoran Mamic's men in the 71st minute but his goal was not enough to keep Iranian outfit Esteghlal from improving their tally to four points.
That number puts them level with Al Duhail, who squandered a two-goal lead in drawing 2-2 against Al Ain in Doha.
FULL-TIME | @DuhailSC (QAT) 🇶🇦 2-2 🇦🇪 @alainfcae_en FC (UAE)— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) April 8, 2019
09' ⚽️ Boudiaf
32' ⚽️ @elarabiyoussef
36' ⚽️ Maroof
58' ⚽️ Berg
The visitors remain winless with two points, the hosts hit the four-points mark. #ACL2019 #ADHvAIN pic.twitter.com/PxXEACygad
Jamal Maroof halved the home side's commanding early advantage prior to the break and it was a foul on him that gifted Caio the chance to equalise from the spot.
Amine Lecomte kept out the spot-kick, but the goalkeeper went from hero to villain as his handling error allowed Marcus Berg to earn Al Ain a second point from their three games.
(With OPTA inputs)