TEHRAN (Tasnim) - When news broke that Persepolis' top scorer for three seasons Ali Alipour was departing for Portugal prior to the 2020 AFC Champions League's resumption, and with Mehdi Torabi also on his way out, fans of the side must have wondered where the goals would come from in Qatar.
- Sports news -
Signed from Sanat Naft Abadan, Issa Alekasir was the man charged with filling Alipour's boots but, while Persepolis picked up six points from its first three games in Doha, its new striker registered just one shot on target. But when the Khuzestan native opened his account with a fine header in a 4-0 win over against Sharjah on Matchday Six, perhaps a weight was lifted from his shoulders.
Goals breed confidence and Alekasir went into the Round of 16 clash against Al-Sadd hungry for more. Despite the Qataris having by far the higher number of shots on goal, no player managed more than the striker's six, two of which hit the woodwork after darting runs into the box that struck of a frontman full of belief, the-afc.com wrote.
And with two minutes remaining his efforts paid off as Alekasir headed home from close range to secure a place in the quarter-finals. With two goals from two games, Persepolis fans may no longer be yearning for Alipour and Pakhtakor will surely be wary of facing a player whose confidence has returned.