Analysis: Hamdallah’s return to form fires Al Nassr past Foolad
Riyadh: Hosts Al Nassr stay undefeated and top of 2021 AFC Champions League Group D thanks to efficient performances at both ends of the pitch.
Securing their second clean sheet in four matches, the Al Nassr defence kept things tight at the back and allowed their forwards, namely Abderrazak Hamdallah, to shine in the 2-0 win over IR Iran’s Foolad Khouzestan.
The-AFC.com looks at the key factors from the game.
Khatibi: Tractor's fighting spirit paved way for AFC Champions League triumph against Air Force Club
Sharjah: Tractor FC head coach Rasoul Khatibi credited his side’s fighting spirit for their 1-0 victory over Air Force Club on Matchday Four of the 2021 AFC Champions League Group B on Friday.
Mehdi Tikdarinejad’s fastest goal of the 2021 AFC Champions League was the difference at the final whistle, the Tractor forward firing home a rebound after Peyman Babaei’s initial chance was stopped by goalkeeper Fahad Taleb inside two minutes.
The win took Tractor to six points, two behind leaders Sharjah of the UAE, while Air Force Club are on two points. Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor are third in the standings with three points. Air Force Club face Sharjah on Monday while Tractor play Pakhtakor.
Golmohammadi happy with dominant Persepolis, Ferrando crushed after second AFC Champions League loss
Goa: It was a comfortable night for Persepolis FC after Yahya Golmohammadi’s men hit four goals past India’s FC Goa in Group E of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Friday.
Shahriar Moghanlou and Mahdi Torabi gave Persepolis a two-goal cushion going into the break before Kamal Kamyabinia and Isa Alkasir completed the win as the 2020 AFC Champions League runners-up made it four wins out of four.
The result means Islamic Republic of Iran's Persepolis will confirm their Round of 16 spot if they avoid defeat against UAE's Al Wahda FSCC on Monday.
Xavi ecstatic as Al Sadd stay on course in AFC Champions League
Riyadh: Al Sadd head coach Xavi was thrilled after his side beat Al Wehdat 2-0 to stay in sight of the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16.
Goals by Santi Cazorla and Ali Asad powered Al Sadd to their second win in Group D, placing them second with seven points, one behind leaders Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia.
Al Sadd will now set their sights on Foolad Khouzestan FC of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Monday, where another three points will set them up nicely for the group finale against Al Nassr three days later.
Group D: Al Nassr overcome Foolad Khouzestan for crucial AFC Champions League victory
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr moved into pole position in the race to win Group D thanks to a 2-0 win over Islamic Republic of Iran's Foolad Khouzestan FC in the 2021 AFC Champions League on Friday.
Star striker Abderrazak Hamdallah set up Abdulfattah Asiri’s 54th minute opener before sealing the points with a late goal of his own as Mano Manezes’ side climbed to eight points from four matches, one clear of Al Sadd SC, who beat Al Wehdat across town in Friday's other Group D clash.
Foolad’s first defeat in the competition leaves the Iranian club three points adrift of top spot, with Monday’s clash against Al Sadd now looming as a must-win proposition.
Group D: Al Sadd see off Al Wehdat to remain in AFC Champions League hunt
Riyadh: Al Sadd SC struck in both halves to beat Al Wehdat 2-0 in a crucial 2021 AFC Champions League Group D tie on Friday.
The win took Qatar champions Al Sadd to seven points from four matches, one behind Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr who beat Foolad Khouzestan FC of the Islamic Republic of Iran 2-0 in Group D's other tie on Friday.
Al Sadd will now aim for three points against Foolad on Monday, with Al Nassr to face Al Wehdat as Group D heads for an exciting finish with two Matchdays remaining.
Group B: Late fightback gives Sharjah share of points with Pakhtakor in AFC Champions League showdown
Sharjah: Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor FC and UAE’s Sharjah FC played out a 1-1 draw in Matchday Four of Group B in the 2021 AFC Champions League on Friday.
The result leaves Sharjah still at the top of Group B, but with Tractor FC just two points behind in second place ahead of Matchday Five with the Iranian side meeting Pakhtakor next, while Sharjah take on Iraq’s Air Force Club.