Persepolis head coach wishes a quick recovery to Pakhtakor head coach Shota Arveladze

Persepolis are in the AFC Champions League quarter-finals for the third time in four years, having reached the semi-finals in 2017 then the final in 2018, losing to Al Hilal SFC and Kashima Antlers respectively.

The attacking midfielder spent seven years at the club and had just been named captain when he passed away after a heart attack on October 1, 2015. Head coach Yahya Golmohammadi, himself a former Persepolis player, wants his players to win the quarter-final tie in memory of Norouzi.

Persepolis - OPTA stats

“First of all, I would like to wish a quick recovery to Pakhtakor head coach Shota Arveladze,” said Golmohammadi on his opposite number who tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

"Our thoughts are with the family of Norouzi on the memory of his passing. The players want to put in a fight tomorrow and dedicate the win to his soul."

“We worked really hard to reach this stage, we faced Al Sadd who are one of the best teams in the competition and it was an exhausting game. But we are well motivated and in good spirits. Pakhtakor had one more day to rest and they will be coming at us like machines. We will need to consume more energy and fight in this game, but hopefully we can win and reach the next stage.”

Persepolis have never beaten Pakhtakor in three previous encounters in the AFC Champions League. The Uzbeks won 1-0 in the group stage of the 2002-03 edition, pipping Persepolis to the top of Group D thanks to that win. In 2019, they were again pitted together in Group D and played out a 1-1 draw at Azadi Stadium before Pakhtakor won 1-0 in Tashkent, but both teams were eliminated at the group stage.

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