Group D: Al Sadd SC (QAT) 2-1 Al Ahli Saudi FC (KSA)
Doha: Al Sadd confirmed their place in the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16 with a 2-1 win over Al Ahli at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Group D on Monday.
The hosts showed their attacking intent from the start, creating their first big chance inside 60 seconds of kick-off. Akram Afif and Xavi exchanged passes down the right and the Spanish midfielder squared the ball for Baghdad Bounedjah who took it first time, but Al Ahli goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais showed quick reflexes to catch the ball.
Jesualdo Ferreira’s side looked to apply high press to regain possession deep into the opposition half. Afif was successful in doing so in the ninth minute, when he dispossessed Saeed Al Muwallad then supplied a perfectly weighted diagonal pass to Ali Asad who controlled then hit on the half-volley with his left past Al Owais for Al Sadd’s first of the night.
Tashkent: A late strike from substitute Igor Sergeev earned Pakhtakor a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Islamic Republic of Iran’s Persepolis on Matchday Five of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group D on Monday.
The 2018 finalists came into the match needing a victory to boost their hopes of reaching the Round of 16, instead Persepolis were eliminated from the Continental tournament.
Group C: Esteghlal FC (IRN) 1-1 Al Duhail SC (QAT)
Tehran: Al Duhail SC became the first West Asian team to book their place in the 2019 AFC Champions League Round of 16, after earning a hard-fought point in a 1-1 draw against Esteghlal FC at the Azadi Stadium on Monday.
Esteghlal came into the Matchday Five fixture in the knowledge that only a win could keep their qualification hopes alive, and they started brightly, coming within inches of opening the scoring in the 12th minute.
South African midfielder Ayanda Patosi beat Al Duhail goalkeeper Amine Lecomte with a curled free-kick from 30 yards out. Esteghlal were, however, denied the opener as Patosi’s ball struck the upright.
Al Duhail responded from a similar set-piece through Bassam Al Rawi, but the Qatari international’s strike passed narrowly wide of the post.
Preview - Group A: Al Nassr (KSA) v Al Wasl FC (UAE)
Riyadh: It is the last chance for UAE’s Al Wasl as they visit Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr on Matchday Five of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group A on Tuesday.
Laurentiu Reghecampf’s men are bottom of the group with three points, having failed to add to their 1-0 win against Al Nasr on the opening matchday. A defeat at King Fahd International Stadium will consign the Dubai-based side to group stage exit for the second year running.
Al Wasl go into the match without domestic distractions, having secured top-flight survival with three games to go in a disappointing UAE Pro League campaign.
Preview - Group A: Al Zawraa Club (IRQ) v Zobahan FC (IRN)
Karbala: Al Zawraa look to return to winning ways when they host Group A leaders Zobahan at Karbala Sports City on Matchday Five of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
The Iraqi side suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Al Nassr in their last outing and they find themselves third in the group, trailing the Saudi side by two points.
Hakeem Shaker’s men started the campaign brightly, earning a point on the road against Zobahan before recording a 5-0 victory against Al Wasl in Karbala. Back-to-back defeats to Al Nassr left them reeling, but their hopes of progress remain alive with two games to go.
Preview - Group B: Al Wahda FSCC (UAE) v PFC Lokomotiv (UZB)
Abu Dhabi: Al Nahyan Stadium plays host to a crucial Group B encounter between group leaders Al Wahda and third place PFC Lokomotiv on Matchday Five of the 2019 AFC Champions League.
The home side are looking to extend their three-match winning run and seal qualification to the knockout stage for the first time since 2007. Meanwhile, the visitors from Uzbekistan need the three points to retain their hopes of progress going into the last matchday.
Despite participating in each of the past four editions of the competition, Lokomotiv only managed to successfully navigate the group stage on one occasion, when they reached the quarter-finals in 2016.
Preview - Group B: Al Rayyan SC (QAT) v Al Ittihad (KSA)
Doha: Al Rayyan’s hopes of keeping their 2019 AFC Champions League round of 16 challenge alive hinge on whether they can get a result when they welcome Al Ittihad to Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday.
Sitting bottom of the group with three points, a win on Tuesday would put Al Rayyan within a point of Al Ittihad, but qualification remains out of their hands as even with six points from their last two games, the Qataris will have to hope other Group B results go their way.
Gilson de Souza’s men come into the Matchday Five fixture buoyed with reaching the Qatar Emir Cup semi-final after defeating rivals Al Arabi on penalties.