You are in / Article

Kasimov: AGMK will strive to get to next level after AFC Champions League adventure

Riyadh:  Head coach Mirdjalal Kasimov is determined to see AGMK FC  striving to get better as they seek a return to the AFC Champions League after a dream debut. 

Two second half goals by Zafar Polvonov and Jovan Djokic secured AGMK a 2-1 win over Tajikistan's FC Istiklol as they finished with seven points, just three behind their Central Asian neighbours who emerged group winners.

It was, despite AGMK finishing bottom, an impressive haul as the group also included 2019 AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal SFC of Saudi Arabia and UAE's Shabab Al Ahli Dubai.

See also :

“As I’ve said before - we play for our fans and even if there’s only one fan, it is for that person,” said Kasimov. “I also want to congratulate FC Istiklol for qualifying for the next round.

“It has been tough to play six games in this group stage, but I am satisfied with the performance of my team. The players were able to upgrade themselves in this competition."

“We needed a little bit more time to recover in between games. In regards to the matches, we will need to do a deep analysis, so that we can work on our mistakes.

“The experience they gained from this tournament will help develop them. It’s all about fighting in sports, where they need to strive to get to the next level, so this will be valuable experience for them.”

It certainly will as AGMK took points from all three Group A opponents, holding Al Hilal 2-2 in their opener and registering 2-1 wins over Shabab Al Ahli and Istiklol.

2021 AFC Champions League: FC Istiklol 1-2 AGMK FC

Istiklol found themselves in danger of missing out on the Round of 16 but with Al Hilal suffering a 2-0 defeat to Shabab Al Ahli, it all ended well for the Tajikistan champions as they finished as the group winners.

“We wanted to end the group stage with a win, but we didn’t fulfil our game plan,” admitted Istiklol head coach Mubin Ergashev.

“We are still in first place and I am happy with the result.

“Overall, the absence of several suspended players affected our squad today, but from my point of view, I am satisfied with our performance today. We had some perfect moments to score, but we were unlucky not to.”

Istiklol will now shift their focus to their domestic campaign before setting their focus on the Round of 16 encounter with Islamic Republic of Iran's Persepolis FC, with the tie scheduled for September.

Recommended Stories :