Jeonju: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors coach Jose Morais has asked his players to learn the lessons from their 0-0 draw with Buriram United in their final Group G game of the 2019 AFC Champions League as the two-time champions move into the knockout rounds of the Continental championship.
The K League side were unable to break down Buriram’s well-organised back line throughout the 90 minutes at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, but the result mattered little as Morais and his team had already guaranteed themselves top spot in the group.
We showed our strength, says Shanghai SIPG's Pereira
Shanghai: Vitor Pereira hailed his players’ mental strength after Oscar-inspired Shanghai SIPG handed Ulsan Hyundai a 5-0 beating on Tuesday to book their place in the Round of 16 of the 2019 AFC Champions League.
The former Chelsea star claimed a hat-trick in a virtuoso display for the Chinese Super League champions, who claimed second place in Group H at the expense of J.League champions Kawasaki Frontale.
The win means Shanghai will take on Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the next round and Pereira was delighted with his team’s performance.
Al Ain: Esteghlal coach Farhad Majidi was full of praise for Al Ain fans on his return to the city where he won the AFC Champions League 16 years ago.
A pacey and clinical striker at his peak, Majidi was a key member of the Al Ain side that lifted the inaugural AFC Champions League in 2002-03.
In the semi-final against China PR’s Dalian Shide, Al Ain had won the first leg at home 4-2, but the Chinese side had clawed the difference, winning 4-2 in Dalian. That is until Majidi received the ball on the edge of the area, dribbled past one defender and finished into the bottom corner to send his side to the final with a 7-6 aggregate score.
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds forward Shinzo Koroki says the two-time champions are motivated by thoughts of a third AFC Champions League title after Tuesday's 3-0 win over Beijing FC secured passage to the Knockout Stage.
There is a feeling amongst those at Urawa Red Diamonds of unfinished business at the AFC Champions League. Winners in 2017, the Reds were unable to qualify for the 2018 edition and thus never had the opportunity to retain their title.
The return to the Continental competition this year has, instead, been perceived as a belated defence of the championship they memorably lifted at Saitama Stadium after a victory over Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal.
And that aim, admitted Koroki, was a key motivating factor in the winner-take-all clash with Beijing FC on Matchday Six.
Oniki rues lack of consistency in Kawasaki's missed opportunity
Sydney: Kawasaki Frontale coach Toru Oniki admitted his team’s disappointing home form was the reason the J.League champions missed out on the knockout rounds of the AFC Champions League for the second season in a row despite a 4-0 win over Sydney FC on Tuesday.
Yasuto Wakizaka scored twice and there were goals for Ao Tanaka and Leandro Damiao but, with Shanghai SIPG claiming all three points in their meeting with Ulsan Hyundai, the Japanese club finished third in Group H and were left to wonder what might have been for another year.
“The performances at home take on extra significance in the AFC Champions League,” said Oniki, who has guided the club to back-to-back domestic titles. “That's what I learned from this tournament.
Tehran: Xavi Hernandez's dazzling career came to a low-key end when his Qatari side Al Sadd were beaten 2-0 by Islamic Republic of Iran's Persepolis in their last group match of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Monday.
The 39-year-old midfield genius, who helped Spain win the World Cup in 2010 and won four UEFA Champions League titles and eight La Liga titles with Barcelona, was cheered by fans at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran where already-eliminated Persepolis produced an improved display to register only their second win in six matches.