Abu Dhabi: A brace from Leonardo ended a three-match winless run for Al Wahda in the AFC Champions League in style after they defeated Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad 4-1 at Al Nahyan Stadium on Matchday Two of Group B on Monday.
The hosts took the game to their opponents’ half from the start and Leonardo was a constant nuisance for the Ittihad defence as he repeatedly tried his luck from outside the box in the opening quarter of an hour.
The Clarets took the lead 16 minutes into the game following a lapse of concentration from Ittihad captain Ahmed Asiri.
Group A: Al Zawraa Club (IRQ) 5-0 Al Wasl FC (UAE)
Karbala: Alaa Abbas bagged a brace as Al Zawraa marked the first-ever AFC Champions League match to be played in Iraq with a thumping 5-0 victory over Al Wasl in matchday two of Group A on Monday.
Backed by a capacity crowd at Karbala Sport City Stadium, Al Zawraa started on the front foot as Abbas tested Al Wasl goalkeeper Humaid Abdulla from range 17 minutes in, but the Emirati goalkeeper tipped the shot behind for a corner.
The home crowd were sent into raptures as Al Zawraa skipper Samal Saeed fired home the opening goal halfway through the opening period.
The defender capitalised on a poor headed clearance by Abdulla Jassim to take the ball on the half-volley with his left, leaving the goalkeeper watching as his thunderous strike nestled into the back of the net.
Kuala Lumpur: After a pulsating opening round of 2019 AFC Champions League fixtures last week, the second set of games will take place in the coming days as Asia’s premier club competition gets into full swing.
With AFC Champions League firsts, a returning star and an intriguing match-up all part of this week’s action, the-AFC.com has picked out five things to look out for on Matchday Two.
Hiroshima: Over 11 years since leaving first side Nagoya Grampus, one of Asia’s most recognisable footballing exports, Japan star Keisuke Honda, returns to his country of birth to play a competitive club football match when Melbourne Victory are hosted by J.League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Tuesday’s AFC Champions League Group F tie at Hiroshima Athletic Stadium.
The 32-year-old, who has played across Europe and Central America since leaving his native land, has in that time also earned over 90 international caps, played at three FIFA World Cups and won the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, where he was also named MVP of the tournament.
We take a look back at the Samurai Blue icon's career ahead of to his homecoming to learn more about his football journey in the slideshow above.
Preview - Group C: Esteghlal FC (IRN) v Al Ain FC (UAE)
Tehran: Islamic Republic of Iran's Esteghlal welcome UAE's Al Ain to Azadi Stadium as the two wounded sides look to make amends in matchday two of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group C.
Esteghlal and Al Ain had most recently clashed in the 2017 edition in the round of 16. Back then, Kaveh Rezaei gave the Iranian side a 1-0 win in Tehran, but an Omar Abdulrahman masterclass inspired the Emiratis to a 6-1 thumping in the return leg in Al Ain.
Since then, Rezaei and Abdulrahman have both left for pastures new. Esteghlal reached the quarter-finals in 2018, while Al Ain exited at the round of 16 last year.