19.05.2015 21:31 h

Lekhwiya beat Sadd, agony for Hilal

Lekhwiya took a step towards qualifying for the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League with a 2-1 win over fellow Qatari side Al Sadd on Tuesday.

However, last year's runners-up and two-time champions Al Hilal slid to an agonising 1-0 defeat at the hands of Iranian outfit Persepolis, courtesy of an own goal by Digao.

In Doha, Sebastian Soria and Youssef Msakni scored for Lekhwiya while Hassan al-Haydos pulled one back for Al Sadd with all the goals coming in the first half of what was the second clash between the two Qatari giants inside five days

Last Friday, Al Sadd had denied Lekhwiya a possible domestic treble when they recorded a 2-0 win in the Emir Cup semi-finals, but Michael Laudrup's side had some measure of revenge after gaining control of Tuesday's match early on.

The Uruguayan-born Soria gave Lekhwiya the lead in the 13th minute with a neat shot from close range after Slovakian veteran Vladimir Weiss had provided the assist from just outside the area on the right.

Lekhwiya, who dominated possession, doubled their lead in the 36th minute when Tunisian Msakni took full advantage of a weak clearance by Al Sadd central defender Lee Jung-soo.

However, the Lekhwiya defence was caught napping the very next minute allowing al-Haydos to knock down a long pass from Abdulkarim Hassan and score with ease.

Both teams had chances in the second half but Lekhwiya held on to their lead to go into the second leg at their home ground next week with a clear advantage.

Earlier, In Tehran, an own goal by Brazlian Digao condemned Saudi side Al Hilal to defeat.

In a match played in front of a 100,000 spectators at Azadi Stadium, Al Hilal appeared set to clinch a valuable draw before Digao's own goal in second half added time put paid to their efforts.

In east Asia, Brazilian forward Leandro scored twice and set up another as Kashiwa Reysol came from behind to beat Suwon Samsung 3-2 away.

Another Korean side, K League Classic champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, also had a disappointing home first leg when they conceded a late penalty to draw 1-1 with Beijing Guoan.

The hosts made a dream start as Chong Te-Se's pull-back from the left byline was stabbed home by Yeom Ki-Hun less than two minutes into the game.

But the visitors got back on level terms in the 12th minute when Leandro chipped the ball forward for an unmarked Akimi Barada to beat 'keeper Jung Sung-ryong on his near post.

Kashiwa were then awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark after Kosuke Taketomi was flattened by Baek Ji-Hoon's robust challenge, and Leandro stepped up to fire past Jung.

Suwon were forced onto the offensive but they were caught on the counter-attack 10 minutes into the second half as Cristiano's cross from the right was turned in by Leandro for his second goal of the game.

Chong gave his side hope when he headed in a cross by Yeom, but Daisuke Suzuki made a heroic block to deny Leo the equaliser and Yeom saw his stoppage-time free-kick tipped over as Kashiwa maintained their advantage ahead of next week's return game in Japan.

At Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonbuk took the lead against Beijing after 13 minutes when Leonardo floated in a free-kick from the left that was headed in by Kim Kee-Hee.

The visitors were awarded a penalty five minutes from time after Erton Fejzullahu was tripped by the outstretched leg of Lee Jae-Moung, and Pablo Batalla sent goalkeeper Kwoun Sun-Tae the wrong way to make it all to play for next week in Beijing.