Persepolis' Torabi strikes late winner as Istiklol's AFC Champions League run ends
Dushanbe: A 90th-minute winner from Mahdi Torabi gave Persepolis FC a 1-0 victory over tournament debutants FC Istiklol in their 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 clash at Republican Central Stadium on Tuesday.
With the match seemingly destined to go to extra-time, Torabi floated a speculative effort into teenage goalkeeper Mukhriddin Hasanov’s top corner, sending the 2020 runners-up to the last eight for the fourth time in five seasons.
Torabi’s decisive strike ended a highly impressive maiden AFC Champions League campaign from Istiklol, who became the first team from Tajikistan to reach the tournament’s knockout stage.
Ulsan Hyundai edge Kawasaki Frontale on penalties to advance to 2021 AFC Champions League last eight stage
Ulsan: Defending champions Ulsan Hyundai squeezed into the quarter-finals of 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday evening as Hong Myung-bo’s side had goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo to thank for securing a 3-2 penalty shoot-out win over Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale.
After 120 scoreless minutes, a dramatic spot-kick competition saw Ulsan advance when Yoon Bit-garam netted the final penalty after Jo had saved Akihiro Ienaga’s attempt.
The outcome of the game hung in the balance throughout penalties, with Kawasaki’s Tatsuya Hasegawa firing over the bar before Won Du-jae followed suit for Ulsan and Jung Sung-ryong saved from Lee Dong-jun.
But Joao Schmidt shot off target for Kawasaki in the third round and Jo’s save of Ienaga’s effort – diving to his left to deny the veteran midfielder – set up Yoon to win the game and keep Ulsan’s hopes of back-to-back titles alive.
Hat-trick hero Swierczok steers Nagoya Grampus past Daegu in AFC Champions League classic
Toyota City: Polish striker Jakub Swierczok hit a stunning hat-trick to take Nagoya Grampus into the quarter-finals of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday as the J-League side fought back against a determined Daegu FC to record a 4-2 win at City of Toyota Stadium.
First half goals from Brazilians Cesinha and Edgar Silva looked set to take Daegu into Friday’s draw for the last eight, but the powerful Pole had other ideas as he almost single-handedly dragged the Japanese side past the K-League club.
Having netted in the 12th minute to cancel out Cesinha’s opener, Swierczok struck twice in two second half minutes to give the Japanese side the lead after Edgar Silva’s earlier header, while Nagoya captain Shinnosuke Nakatani put the result beyond doubt 11 minutes from time.
Jardim hails resilient Al Hilal, Majidi rues Esteghlal’s AFC Champions League exit
Dubai: It looked like a comfortable victory in the end, but head coach Leonardo Jardim said Al Hilal SFC had to work hard for their 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 win against Esteghlal FC at the Al Wasl Stadium on Tuesday.
Goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and Salem Al Dawsari secured the 2019 champions a place in the quarter-finals for the fifth time in eight editions.
Esteghlal, however, were not without chances and the complexion of the match may well have changed had the Islamic Republic of Iran Club pulled one back.
2021 AFC Champions League - Preview: Litmus test for BG Pathum United as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors await
Jeonju: Two-time winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will welcome BG Pathum United to Jeonju World Cup Stadium for the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday.
The match pits one of continental club football’s most successful sides up against a team that only made their AFC Champions League debut in the group stage in June as the tournament moves into its one-leg knockout stage format.
While Jeonbuk are aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the ninth time, BG Pathum are looking to become the first Thai side to advance to the last eight since Buriram United in 2013.
2021 AFC Champions League - Preview: Cerezo Osaka, Pohang Steelers in clash for coveted quarter-final slot
Osaka: Cerezo Osaka mark their first AFC Champions League Round of 16 appearance since 2014 when they face three-time continental champions FC Pohang Steelers at Nagai Football Stadium on Wednesday.
The 2014 edition was also the setting of the last time the two sides met in Asian action with the pair facing off in the group stage.
Japan’s Cerezo, who reached the 2011 quarter-finals, are participating in the AFC Champions League for the fourth time and 2009 winners Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic are making their eighth appearance and looking to reach the last eight stage for the third time.