ACL: What They Said
Kuala Lumpur: Eight teams will battle it out for AFC Champions League glory after the quarter-finalists were confirmed last week. The-AFC.com looks back at what some of key figures involved in the action had to say.
He’s unbelievable. He’s physically really good and knows how to play football. I’m so sorry because this was his last game for Suwon in 2018 as he’s going to the army team (Sangju Sangmu FC). I’m happy he finished like this, in front of our fans with a big win because of his goals. I hope he will continue to do a good job at Sangju and come back to Suwon to be a key player in the future.
One of the AFC Champions League’s most experienced campaigners, Dejan Damjanovic, hails one of the competition’s young guns, Kim Gun-hee, whose brace on Wednesday helped Suwon Samsung Suwon oust Ulsan Hyundai 3-1 on aggregate.
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This is a very good win because we know that we are better than our opponent, so we are very happy to achieve this victory. We know we are a good team and now we have to give our maximum to get to the final.
Hat-trick hero Mame Thiam is delighted Esteghlal overcame domestic rivals Zobahan to reach the quarter-finals and now has his eyes set on a place in the final.
Now we are close to winning the domestic treble and are in the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League. I am very happy with our performances and I think we have a good chance to go far in this tournament.
The AFC Champions League’s joint top scorer Youssef El Arabi eyes continued success after scoring twice as Al Duhail ran out 8-3 aggregate winners over Al Ain following a 4-1 win on Tuesday.
We lost this game but I’m very pleased with my players' efforts, as they really fought to the very end to deliver the result we needed to make it through to the next round. Today, in particular, the players were throwing their bodies in the way right to the very last whistle.
Kashima Antlers head coach Go Oiwa is proud of his players as the J.League side lost 2-1 to Shanghai SIPG on Wednesday but progressed to a first quarter-final since 2008 after a 4-3 aggregate win.
We gave our opponents too many chances today and that’s why they were able to take the lead, so we must improve our defending in the future. I think our team did a great job in the first leg at home because we did not concede a goal, which allowed us to use the away goals to our advantage.
Tianjin Quanjin’s last line of defence Zhang Lu believes their resilience in the first leg was key in progressing past Guangzhou Evergrande after a 2-2 away draw on Tuesday saw Tianjin advance on away goal.
We had numerous chances, especially in the second half, and we missed some good opportunities. At the end of the day, though, we were able to score the two goals that mattered and we qualified for the quarter-finals. That’s all that matters.
The competition’s joint top scorer Baghdad Bounedjah netted two more goals in Al Sadd’s 2-2 draw with Al Ahli on Monday but the Algerian insists the only important thing is the Qatari side’s continued involvement in the AFC Champions League.
They were a team that played on the counter-attack and had three brilliant players who were great on the ball. I want to thank God that we defeated them and I also thank our fans. I hope we can keep going.
Persepolis captain Seyed Jalal Hosseini knows Al Jazira were a tough obstacle to overcome, after his late winner saw the Tehran side claim a 2-1 win on Monday to edge past the Emirati team on away goals.
Our goal was to join the top-ranked teams by qualifying for the quarter-finals so we have achieved our first goal. We were focused only on this match, not looking ahead to the quarter or semi-finals. We lost the away match but we are always proud to win at home against strong teams.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors head coach Choi Kang-hee reveals it’s first mission accomplished for the two-time continental champions, who overcame Buriram United 4-3 on aggregate after a 2-0 win on Tuesday.
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