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AFC Champions League (East): What They Said


Doha: Another round of exciting action at the 2020 AFC Champions League with plenty to discuss following some rollercoaster fixtures in Doha as the East Zone teams continue their Group Stage campaigns.

An icon mourned, history made and milestones achieved - here's what those involved had to say following the latest matches from the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) in Doha.

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"We watched him firsthand in the 1979 FIFA World Youth Championship in Japan where he played. Later, we watched his goal in the 1986 FIFA World Cup on live TV as university students. He is a big influence for our generation."

FC Tokyo boss Kenta Hasegawa recalled memories of Maradona’s first trophy in Argentina colours, back in 1979.


"We are a big team and I will do my best to help my team win more titles and if that comes by scoring the goals that will take me to all-time top scorer, then that is great.”

Ai Kesen is chasing the dual objectives of a third AFC Champions League title and statistical immortality, after he scored his 30th career goal in the competition to edge closer to Lee Dong-gook's all-time record of 37.


"It is disappointing to lose but we played very well so I am not too upset. Sometimes in football you play well but do not win, but I am proud of the players today. I thought we were even a little bit better than the first game."

Despite the 2-1 defeat to Shanghai SIPG, Yokohama F. Marinos head coach Ange Postecoglou was pleased by the performance of his team and proud of his players efforts.

Group H - MD4: Yokohama F. Marinos 1-2 Shanghai SIPG FC


“I would like to press higher in every game, but I cannot always do that because we are not machines, the players are human beings, and I cannot ask them something beyond their ability.”

Shanghai SIPG coach Vitor Pereira admitted he has had to be pragmatic in his approach to matches due to a gruelling schedule that has seen them play four 2020 AFC Champions League games in nine days.


“The most important thing is that we gave a gift to the Thai people today. I feel grateful for the support, and It’s great for us that we still have the chance to win, and we hope that we can still qualify.”

Chiangrai United interim boss Alongkorn Thongaum paid tribute to his players, labelling Friday's stunning 2-1 win over FC Seoul, a first-ever victory in the AFC Champions League for the club, a gift to the nation of Thailand.


"We're very happy to have qualified for the Round of 16, it was out first goal in the competition: to get to the knockout stages. I think the team is playing really well and we have to continue in this way."

Beijing FC's midfield maestro Jonathan Viera says the first objective has been ticked off for the Chinese Super League side as their win over Melbourne Victory, their fourth consecutively, secured a place in the 2020 AFC Champions League last 16.

Group E - MD4:Melbourne Victory 0-2 Beijing FC


"There are mistakes to work on, but overall, while we’re bitterly disappointed with the result, but our performance showed we’re making strides to get to where we want to get to."

Despite a third consecutive loss in Qatar, Melbourne Victory coach Steve Kean insists his team are showing positive signs, regardless of their results.

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