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Micale: Al Hilal's consistency paying off in AFC Champions League campaign


Riyadh: Head coach Rogério Micale was overjoyed with Al Hilal SFC's overall performance after the Saudi Arabia club registered a 3-1 win against FC Istiklol in Group A of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Wednesday.

Hattan Bahebri starred with a brace at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium as 2019 AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal moved three points clear at the top of the standings.

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Micale expressed satisfaction with his team's performance, which boosted Al Hilal's chances of advancing to the Round of 16.

“It was a match where I expected a good performance and I’m totally satisfied with what we showed against a team who were sharing top spot with us,” said Micale.

2021 AFC Champions League: Al Hilal SFC (KSA) 3-1 FC Istiklol (TJK)

“I’m happy with the way we played and the way we rotated the ball in addition to the chances we created. It was also good that we managed to score three goals.

“Our group is difficult and all the other teams are playing well. Our team, however, are the only one playing with consistency and we are getting close to winning the group and advancing to the next stage.”

FC Istiklol head coach Mubin Ergashev admitted that Al Hilal were the better side and deserved to win, tipping them to go on and lift the title.

“Congratulations to Al Hilal for their victory as they were better than us in terms of dominance and creating chances,” said Ergashev. “They scored three goals tonight and they deserved to win.”

“We missed some players today because of injuries. Also some players showed signs of fatigue and all of this played a role in the defeat that we suffered today.

“Al Hilal are the best team in the competition and they are one of the contenders to win the title,” he concluded.

Istiklol will face the Saudi giants against on Saturday.

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