Tehran Times - Al Hilal SFC of Saudi Arabia earned a 3-0 away win against Iran's Nassaji Mazandaran in Group D of the AFC Champions League 2023/24 at the Azadi Stadium on Tuesday.
The two teams had contrasting starts to their 2023/24 continental campaign, with Nassaji’s first-ever match in the competition seeing them defeat Mumbai City 2-0 in Maharashtra, while Al Hilal needed a late Ali Al Bulayhi goal to rescue a point at home against Navbahor.
Aleksandar Mitrovic gave the visiting team a lead in the 18th minute following a floated Al Burayk cross into the bottom corner
An altercation between Vahid Mohammedzadeh and Mitrovic following an aerial duel developed into a brawl which prompted the referee to send-off Al Hilal captain Salman Al Faraj and Nassaji’s Amir Houshmand seven minutes before the interval.
Neymar opened his account for Al Hilal in the 58th minute when he collected a loose ball in the Nassaji half, backheeled it to Nasser Al Dawsari, then picked up the return pass before drilling it with his left into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 for the visitors.
Substitute Saleh Al Shehri added Al Hilal’s third of the night, getting a touch on Nasser Al Dawsari’s shot inside the box to direct it past Nassaji keeper Rashid Mazaheri and into the back of the net to round off the victory.
Having picked up their first win of the campaign, Al Hilal’s next task will be a home fixture against Mumbai City, while Nassaji will look to make amends when they travel to Uzbekistan to face Navbahor on Matchday Three.