Bahebri hat-trick takes Al Shabab into Asian knockout rounds
Saudi Arabia's Al Shabab booked their place in the knockout rounds of the Asian Champions League with a 6-0 thrashing of Mumbai City in Riyadh on Friday while Al Duhail from Qatar also claimed a spot in the last 16 of the continental championship.
Hattan Bahebri's hat-trick helped confirm Al Shabab as Group B winners with one round of matches remaining as Al Duhail guaranteed they would finish first in Group D with a dramatic 4-3 win over Saudi side Al Taawon.
Only the winners of each of the five groups being played in west Asia are certain to advance to the round of 16, where they will be joined by the three runners-up with the best records.
Three clubs have now confirmed their progress to the next phase of the competition after defending champions Al Hilal secured their spot on Tuesday.
Bahebri gave his side the perfect start when he scored from close range in the 19th minute and Al Shabab had a two-goal lead by halftime when Mumbai's Mourtada Fall put the ball in his own net nine minutes before the break.
Abdullah Al Joui added a third seven minutes after the restart while Bahebri completed his hat-trick with goals in the 64th and 66th minutes. Carlos completed the rout in the 81st minute.
Air Force Club from Iraq kept their hopes of a runners-up berth alive with a 3-2 win over Al Jazira from the United Arab Emirates, with the victory coming through Sharif Abdul-Kadhim's 91st minute strike.
That result moves Air Force into second in Group B on seven points with one game remaining, three points ahead of Al Jazira and Mumbai City.
Al Duhail, meanwhile, fought back from going 3-1 behind by halftime to hand Al Taawon a 4-3 loss that takes Hernan Crespo's team into the next round.
An Edmilson Junior double pulled the Qataris level before Qatar international striker Almoez Ali hit the winner three minutes from time.
Al Duhail have an unassailable five point lead over Al Taawon while Iran's Sepahan are third following their 2-1 win over Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor.
Foolad continue to lead Group C with one round of matches to play, the Iranians holding a two point advantage over Shabab Al Ahli from the UAE following their 1-0 win against Qatar's Al Gharafa.
Federico Cartabia's double earned Shabab Al Ahli a 2-1 win against Turkmenistan's Ahal.