AFC Executive Committee outlines ambitions to further elevate elite club football
Doha: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s determination to usher a new era of elite club football in Asia was further emphasised by the AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa at the 9th AFC Executive Committee meeting held today.
Just one month after the AFC Executive Committee approved several key strategic reforms aimed at ensuring the continued success of the AFC Club Competitions, the AFC President outlined plans to further strengthen the intensity, value, consumption and stature of elite club football – all with the aim of benefitting the AFC’s Member Associations (MAs), Participating Teams and the Continent’s passionate fans.
Hašek concedes IR Iran the better side as Lebanon bow out
Mashhad: Ivan Hašek conceded FIFA World Cup-bound Islamic Republic of Iran are a superior outfit to his Lebanon side, who saw their own AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar™ hopes dashed in a 2-0 defeat on Tuesday.
Goals from Sardar Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh put paid to the Cedars’ hopes of reaching June’s AFC playoff, although UAE’s later victory over Korea Republic meant even a Lebanese win on the night wouldn’t have helped them pull off the miracle turnaround required to extend their campaign.
While they came into the match at Imam Reza Stadium with full of hope, Lebanon’s defeat meant they slipped to last place in Group A, with their final tally of six points from 10 matches illustrative of a campaign which slipped away in the final two matches.
Victory over Korea Republic just the start, says UAE’s Arruabarrena
Dubai: United Arab Emirates national team head coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena said that his side’s 1-0 win against Korea Republic should be considered a mere starting point on a road which could ultimately lead the West Asian nation to their first FIFA World Cup since 1990.
A second half goal from Harib Abdalla steered Arruebarrena’s side to a much-needed win, securing third place in Group A of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar™ and a single-leg AFC playoff against Australia in June.
The winners of the AFC playoff will then meet the fifth placed side from CONMEBOL qualifying for a berth at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
Park hails ‘great’ Vietnam result, Moriyasu looks to the future
Saitama: Park Hang-seo was full of praise for his Vietnam side as they rounded off their AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar™ Group B campaign with a historic 1-1 draw against Japan at Saitama Stadium on Tuesday.
Nguyen Thanh Binh gave the Golden Star Warriors a surprise lead in the 19th minute before Japan equalised through Maya Yoshida nine minutes after the interval but, despite wave after wave of Japanese attacks and two disallowed goals, Vietnam held out for a memorable point.
While the Southeast Asians ultimately finished bottom of the standings in what was their maiden appearance in the final round of AFC Asian Qualifiers, the hard-fought draw was the first time they had avoided defeat against the Samurai Blue and their first point away from home in Group B.