Arruabarrena: Shabab Al Ahli on track despite defeat to Al Hilal
Dubai: Head coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena had no complaints despite Shabab Al Ahli Dubai suffering a 2-1 defeat to defending champions Al Hilal SFC in Group B of the AFC Champions League 2020 at the Rashid Stadium on Monday.
The home side failed to hold on to their 24th minute lead through Youssef Jaber as a brace from Bafetimbi Gomis steered Al Hilal to their second win in the competition as Shabab Al Ahli suffered their second consecutive defeat.
Group B - MD2: Pakhtakor (UZB) 3-0 Shahr Khodro FC (IRN)
Tashkent: An Igor Sergeev brace and a late Sherzod Azamov header helped Pakhtakor brush aside Shahr Khodro FC 3-0 to record their second consecutive win in the 2020 AFC Champions League Group A on Monday.
Shahr Khodro came into their second-ever AFC Champions League game dreaming of collecting their first point or scoring their first goal in the group stage, but at the end of the 90 minutes, they would have neither as the home side added another three points to their haul after having opened their campaign with a 2-1 win over Shabab Al Ahli Dubai last week.
Suwon: Yeom Ki-hun believes Suwon Samsung Bluewings striker Adam Taggart is a strong contender to win the 2020 AFC Champions League Golden Boot as the Korea Republic side prepare to kick off their Group G campaign against Japan’s Vissel Kobe on Wednesday.
Taggart joined Suwon at the beginning of 2019 and promptly finished as the K League’s top goalscorer after finding the back of the net 20 times in what was a largely disappointing league season for the former Asian champions.
Club captain Yeom, who top-scored in the Korean FA Cup as the side secured a return to the AFC Champions League, was hugely impressed with what he saw and believes the 26-year-old Australian could be the difference between success and failure on the Continent.
Group A - MD2: Al Ahli Saudi FC (KSA) 2-1 Esteghlal FC (IRN)
Kuwait City: A Salman Al Muwashar brace helped Al Ahli Saudi FC earn a 2-1 win over Esteghlal FC on Matchday Two of the 2020 AFC Champions League Group A on Monday.
Al Ahli entered the game led by interim boss Mazen Bahkali, after the club had earlier in the day announced the termination of manager Christian Gross’ contract on the back of poor results in the Saudi Pro League.
Kuala Lumpur: Hot on the heels of the first round of fixtures, the 2020 AFC Champions League returns this week with 13 matches being played across nine countries between Monday and Wednesday.
As ever, there are plenty of talking points ahead of the week's action, with an Asian powerhouse trying to halt a miserable run, an Australian debutant kicking off their first AFC Champions League campaign and chances to build on positive starts in Japan and Uzbekistan among our five things to look out for.