Al Hilal defeat Esteghlal to book 2021 AFC Champions League quarter-final ticket
Dubai: Al Hilal SFC became the first team to advance to the last eight of the 2021 AFC Champions League, scoring either side of half-time to defeat Esteghlal FC 2-0 in Monday’s Round of 16 clash.
Goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and Salem Al Dawsari, both heroes of Al Hilal’s 2019 AFC Champions League-winning side, proved decisive for the Saudi club, who have now reached the quarter-finals in five of the last eight editions of the competition.
While Leonardo Jardim’s side can look forward with optimism to the latter stages of the competition, Esteghlal’s defeat sealed their elimination from the tournament, ending their bid for a first Asian club title since 1991.
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.
2021 AFC Champions League - Preview: Persepolis’ Golmohammadi expects tough AFC Champions League challenge from Istiklol
Dushanbe: They may have the more familiar names and the greater pedigree on the continental stage, but Persepolis FC head coach Yahya Golmohammadi is in no doubt his side are in for a serious test in Tuesday’s 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 clash against FC Istiklol of Tajikistan.
Runners-up in two of the last three editions of the competition, the Iran Pro League champions have travelled to the Tajik capital to face an Istiklol side who emerged as the fairy-tale story of this year’s ACL group stage, pulling off a series of shock wins in their tournament debut in April.
With those heroics in mind, and an excited Dushanbe public ready to welcome ACL knockout stage football for the first time, Golmohammadi said he expects Persepolis to be seriously challenged at Central Republican Stadium.
2021 AFC Champions League - Preview: Al Nassr, Tractor bid to make history
Doha: Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr will hope to take a step further towards continental glory when play Islamic Republic of Iran’s Tractor FC in the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday.
Without a continental title since 1998, the Riyadh based club came agonisingly close in the previous edition of the competition, crashing out at the semi-final stage against Tractor’s domestic rivals Persepolis FC. Tractor, on the other hand, have never made it past the Round of 16, and a one-legged tie will appeal to them as they look to make club history.
2021 AFC Champions League - Preview: Sharjah, Al Wahda primed for all-UAE showdown
Sharjah: Sharjah Stadium is set for a thrilling all-UAE encounter as Sharjah FC and Al Wahda FSCC lock horns in the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday.
The game will be the third time two Emirati sides have faced in the AFC Champions League, and the first involving either of the two sides. The two previous such occasions saw Al Ain involved, as they faced Al Jazira in the 2014 Round of 16 and Al Ahli at the same stage a year later.