2021 AFC Champions League (East): Five Forwards in Form
Kuala Lumpur: As the big kick off to the 2021 AFC Champions League rapidly approaches, the-AFC.com takes a look at the strikers who are poised to make a difference in the eastern side of the continent.
With no shortage of attacking talent on display, we shine the spotlight on five frontmen who are on fire in their clubs’ domestic campaigns and could be set to bring those hot streaks onto the Asian stage in this year's continental club competition.
Preview - Group J: Culpi confident of Cerezo Osaka's AFC Champions League chances ahead of Guangzhou showdown
Buriram: A decade on from leading Cerezo Osaka to the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League, Levir Culpi is confident he can secure a similar result for the Japanese club ahead of the start of their campaign in the latest edition of the continental championship.
The Brazilian coach will lead his team into their first outing in the 2021 edition of the competition on Thursday when Cerezo take on Chinese Super League side Guangzhou FC in Buriram in Group J.
The J-League club have brought a star-studded squad to Thailand for the competition and Culpi believes his side can make a similar impact to their performance in 2011, when Cerezo recorded their best-ever showing with a run to the last eight.
Preview - Group J: Kitchee SC, Port FC primed for AFC Champions League face-off
Buriram: Kitchee SC head coach Alex Chu Chi-kwong will be banking on the form of his Hong Kong representative players to give his side a boost when they take on Thailand’s Port FC in their opening Group J meeting in the 2021 AFC Champions League in Buriram on Thursday.
Chu led Kitchee to their second successive Hong Kong Premier League title in May but many of his players have not been involved in a competitive fixture since the final game of the campaign, when they defeated Eastern to retain the crown.
Patience was key to Nagoya Grampus' AFC Champions League victory against Johor Darul Ta’zim, says Ficcadenti
Bangkok: Patience is a virtue and head coach Massimo Ficcadenti believes Japan's Nagoya Grampus were rewarded with a 1-0 victory over Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim in Group G of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday for showing composure.
Nagoya’s Hiroyoki Abe scored the only goal of the game in a tightly contested affair at the Rajamangala Stadium.
The Japanese side are second in the standings behind Korea Republic’s Pohang Steelers, who have a better goal difference following their 2-0 win over Thailand's Ratchaburi FC in the group's other tie on Tuesday.
Kim demands more from Pohang Steelers despite AFC Champions League win against Ratchaburi
Bangkok: Pohang Steelers head coach Kim Gi-dong has urged his side to be more clinical in front of goal following their 2-0 victory against Thailand’s Ratchaburi FC in Group G of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
Pohang secured the three points thanks to efforts from Boris Tashchy and Lim Sang-Hyub with the K-League 1 club leading the standings on goal difference after Japan’s Nagoya Grampus opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over , Johor Darul Ta’zim of Malaysia.
Group J: Tainan City defeat Athletic 220 to kick off AFC Cup campaign on high note
Hong Kong: Tainan City of Chinese Taipei cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win over Athletic 2020 FC of Mongolia in the opening match of Group J of the 2021 AFC Cup on Wednesday.
Both sides went into the game at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground in Hong Kong looking to mark their AFC Cup debuts with a victory, but it was Tainan City who dominated the proceedings from the start with Athletic 220 sitting deep and looking to hit on the counter.
Group J: Lee Man edge Eastern Long Lions for perfect AFC Cup start
Hong Kong: Debutants Lee Man made a triumphant opening bow on the AFC Cup stage, defeating Hong Kong Premier League rivals Eastern Long Lions 1-0 in their opening Group J match on Wednesday.
A 26th-minute goal from Gil Martins settled the tie, with the Brazilian striker punishing an error from Yapp Hung Fai to hand Chan Hiu Ming’s men a milestone result.
The win takes Lee Man to second place in the group, with Saturday’s clash against leaders Tainan City likely to play a pivotal role in deciding their hopes of making knockout stage at their first attempt.