Tehran Times - Sepahan sent out a warning to their opponents in the AFC Champions League 2023-24 on Monday as Jose Morais’ side handed AGMK from Uzbekistan a 9-0 demolition at the Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to enhance their hopes of progressing to the last 16.
Eight of Sepahan’s goals came in a ruthless second half performance from the hosts, who faced 10 men for the final quarter of the game following Akramjon Kolimov’s expulsion for a direct red card offence.
The win moves Sepahan onto seven points from their four games in Group C so far, two behind leaders Al Ittihad from Saudi Arabia and level with Air Force Club of Iraq with only two rounds remaining.
Sepahan had dominated from early in the game, but their first half performance gave no indication of the serious damage they would inflict on their visitors in the second 45 minutes.
The home side went ahead in the eighth minute when the AGMK defense failed to properly clear Milad Zakipour’s long throw in, possession eventually falling to Farshad Ahmadzadeh and he pulled the ball down before firing low past Botirali Ergashev, the-afc.com reported.
Sepahan’s second eventually came in the 59th minute when Reza Asadi rose to meet Ehsan Pahlavan’s inviting cross from the left, the ball swinging towards goal and the forward steered his header past Ergashev.
That goal led to a collapse by the visitors, Mohammadjavad Hosseinnezhad hitting his side’s third a minute later when his shot looped up off a defender to give the goalkeeper no hope.
And a further two minutes later the Iranians had a fourth when Mohammad Ghorbani side-footed his volley home as Asadi redirected Ramin Rezaeian’s corner into the goal scorer’s path.
Things went from bad to worse for AGMK when Kolimov was sent off after stamping on Rezaeian and, with a man advantage, Sepahan continued to push.
Rezaeian capitalized on an error by Ergashev to stroke in the fifth in the 71st minute and eight minutes later the sixth came from the penalty spot when, after being brought down by Iskandar Businov, Isa Alkasir climbed off the turf to score.
Shahriyar Moghanlou rolled in the seventh when his deflected effort from distance wrong-footed Ergashev, Alkasir hit the eighth with three minutes left and Hosseinnezhad claimed the ninth in injury time.