Foolad, Al Sadd seek improvements after AFC Champions League stalemate
Riyadh: Foolad Khouzestan FC were denied a win in their 2021 AFC Champions League Group D opener against Al Sadd, but head coach Jesus Javier Noble believes the 1-1 draw will drive his inexperienced side to improve.
Foolad looked to have sealed a famous win through Brazilian striker Chimba's 61st minute goal but Al Sadd fought back and were rewarded by Boualem Khoukhi's 89th minute equaliser.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on three points at the very end, Foolad can take heart from their performance and look forward to Saturday's tie against Jordan's Al Wehdat. Al Sadd will face Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr.
Khatibi hails Tractor fortitude in thrilling AFC Champions League draw with Pakhtakor
Sharjah: Tractor FC head coach Rasoul Khatibi raved about the football on display as his side played out an electrifying 3-3 draw against Pakhtakor in the opening Group B match of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Wednesday.
All the goals were scored in the second half, with Ashkan Dejagah opening his side’s account from the spot on 53 minutes while teammate Mohammad Abbaszadeh doubled the tally three minutes later.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, Pakhtakor mounted a tremendous comeback with Dragan Ceran halving the deficit before Sharof Mukhitdinov’s thunderous strike six minutes later equalised for the Uzbek side. Pakhtakor went a goal up thanks to Hojimat Erkinov before Abbaszadeh converted a penalty for his second goal of the night to restore parity and round off the goal fest in Sharjah.
Preview: Al Duhail, Al Shorta seek early lift in AFC Champions League campaign
Jeddah: Al Duhail SC and Al Shorta will both be aiming for three points when they face off in their opening 2021 AFC Champions League Group C match at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on Thursday.
With only the group winners assured of advancing into the Round of 16, both will have little margin for error in a pool that also includes Islamic Republic of Iran's Esteghlal FC and Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli Saudi FC.
Preview: Debutants Istiklol itching for dream AFC Champions League start against Shabab Al Ahli
Riyadh: FC Istiklol of Tajikistan will target opening their 2021 AFC Champions League Group A campaign with a win against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai of UAE on Thursday.
Coming into the tournament as champions of the Tajik League, debutants Istiklol will be eager for their first taste of AFC Champions League group stage football but in Shabab Al Ahli, they will face a team appearing in the continental showpiece for the eighth time, setting the stage for an enticing tie at the King Fahd International Stadium.
Preview: Rookies AGMK determined to test Al Hilal in AFC Champions League opener
Riyadh: Al Hilal SFC's eyes will be on the AFC Champions League trophy when they kick off their 2021 campaign against AGMK FC Thursday.
A COVID-19 outbreak in the squad forced Al Hilal to withdraw from last year's competition, which meant the Saudi Pro League champions could not defend the AFC Champions League title won in 2019.
The 2019 crown was added to the earlier Asian Club Championship titles Al Hilal had in their trophy cabinet and for Uzbekistan's AGMK, the tie at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium promises to be tough test in their competition debut.