Woes continue for Al Hilal as they slump in IranTEHRAN - Saudi Arabian’s Al Hilal suffered more AFC Champions League away-day woes as the two-time winners of the competition slumped to a 1-0 loss to Zob Ahan in their semifinal first leg on Wednesday.
Midfielder Ghasem Hadadifar’s 56th-minute goal gave the Iranians a victory at the Foolad Shahr Stadium in Isfahan ahead of the return leg in a fortnight’s time.
Swedish midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson wasted a glorious opportunity to grab an away goal for Al Hilal when he failed to convert a 42nd-minute penalty.
The result meant Al Hilal, coached by former Olympian Marseille boss Eric Gerets, remain without an away win in the continent’s premier club competition this season.
The Saudis were missing a number of first-team players but their seven-year unbeaten home record in the Champions League will give them confidence that they can progress to the final in Tokyo next month.
In Tuesday’s far more entertaining semifinal, Saudi Arabian side Al Shabab came from behind three times at home to beat Korea’s Seongnam Ilhwa 4-3.