Sepahan defeat Al Sadd to end AFC Champions League campaign in style
Doha: Islamic Republic of Iran’s Sepahan FC ended their 2020 AFC Champions League on a high after defeating Al Sadd SC 2-1 in Group D on Thursday.
Sepahan had already been eliminated, having collected just four points from their previous five games, while Al Sadd had booked their place in the Round of 16 with a game to spare.
Al Sadd coach Xavi made 10 changes to his starting XI that played out a 1-1 draw against Al Nassr three days earlier, with only centre-back Tarek Salman retaining his place in the team, before being swapped for Abdelkarim Hassan at half time.
Pakhtakor's Huistra gears up for 'three' AFC Champions League finals ahead
Doha: Pakhtakor FC returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Shahr Khodro on Matchday Six of the 2020 AFC Champions League Group B on Wednesday.
Under the guidance of assistant coach Pieter Huistra, the Uzbek champions secured their first win since Matchday Two thanks to a second-half Jaloliddin Masharipov strike to progress as group leaders ahead of Shabab Al Ahli Dubai FC.
Pakhtakor play Islamic Republic of Iran's Esteghlal FC in the Round of 16 on Saturday, in what will be their first AFC Champions League knockout stage appearance in a decade.
Al Soma urges Al Ahli Saudi to forget Esteghlal defeat, focus on AFC Champions League Round of 16
Doha: Captain Omar Al Soma said Al Ahli Saudi FC must quickly forget Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Esteghlal FC in the 2020 AFC Champions League and focus on the Round of 16.
The Jeddah giants went into the match with their place in the knockout stage already secured but were undone by goals from Mehdi Ghaedi, Ali Karimi and Cheick Diabaté as the Islamic Republic of Iran club joined them in advancing from Group A.
Despite the defeat, the Saudi Arabia Pro League side finished top of Group A and will play Group B runners-up Shabab Al Ahli Dubai while Esteghlal will face Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor.
Esteghlal turn on the style to reach last 16 of AFC Champions League
Doha: After picking up just two points from their first three games, Esteghlal hit form when it mattered most as a comfortable 3-0 victory over Al Ahli Saudi on Wednesday secured second place in Group A.
The Iranian giants went into the game against group winners Al Ahli knowing that a win by any other scoreline aside from 1-0 would guarantee their progression into the knockout stages ahead of Iraq's Al Shorta.
Dominant from the off, there seemed little doubt after Esteghlal took the lead just before the half hour and, 3-0 up before the 60-minute mark, Majid Namjoo-Motlagh's side ultimately cruised into the last 16.
AFC Champions League MD5 (WEST) Toyota Player of the Week: Caio
Doha: Sharjah winger Caio has been voted by the fans as the 2020 AFC Champions League Matchday Five Toyota Player of the Week. In data provided by OPTA, the official data provider for the Asian Football Confederation, Caio had earned a rating of 8.4 for his performance against Al Taawoun in Group C, with the Brazilian scoring once in the 6-0 win.