Group E: Al Wahda beat FC Goa to confirm AFC Champions League last 16 berth
Goa: Al Wahda FSCC advanced to the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 after defeating FC Goa 2-0 in their final Group E match on Thursday.
With Persepolis FC of the Islamic Republic of Iran having sealed top spot in Group E following an emphatic 4-2 win over Al Rayyan in the earlier match, the best Al Wahda could hope for going into the match against FC Goa was to advance to the Round of 16 as one of the best three second-placed finishers.
They did just that with the win taking Henk ten Cate's side to 13 points which - following the results of other matches on Thursday - assured them of finishing as one of the three best runners-up.
Group E: Persepolis seal AFC Champions League top spot in style with win over Al Rayyan
Goa: Persepolis secured top spot in Group E of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Thursday as Yahya Golmohammadi’s side bounced back from their loss against Al Wahda to hand Qatar’s Al Rayyan a 4-2 defeat that ensured their passage to the Round of 16.
The two-time finalists had slipped to a 1-0 loss to the club from the United Arab Emirates on Matchday Five, but they eventually claimed all three points against Laurent Blanc’s already-eliminated side after a nervy second half at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa.
Shahriyar Moghanlou opened the scoring in the 27th minute having earlier hit the crossbar with a header before Ehsan Pahlavan doubled the Iranian side’s advantage seven minutes later. But two goals from Yohan Boli kept Al Rayyan in contention in the second 45 minutes and Persepolis needed further efforts from Hossein Kanani and Isa Alkasir to confirm their fifth victory in six games in the group phase.
Group B: Pakhtakor edge Air Force Club to end AFC Champions League campaign on high note
Sharjah: Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor concluded their 2021 AFC Champions League Group B campaign with a 1-0 win over Air Force Club of Iraq on Thursday.
With both sides already eliminated and playing for pride, Air Force Club went into the match still looking for a first group stage win since 2008, while 2020 AFC Champions League quarter-finalists Pakhtakor looked to sign off with their first win of the current campaign.
Preview - Group A: Istiklol out to extend AFC Champions League dream debut
Riyadh: The rematch of the all-Central Asian affair between FC Istiklol and AGMK FC will determine the outcome of Group A of the 2021 AFC Champions League at the King Fahd International Stadium on Friday.
A win for Istiklol will mean they will finish as group winners in their debut campaign, irrespective of the Al Hilal FC-Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, with the Tajikistan champions having a better head-to-head record against the 2019 AFc Champions League winners.
Preview - Group A: Win only option for Al Hilal in AFC Champions League group finale with Shabab Al Ahli Dubai
Riyadh: Victory may not secure top spot in Group A but Al Hilal SFC know they have to win against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai in the 2021 AFC Champions League on Friday.
FC Istiklol and Al Hilal are both on 10 points going into Matchday Six but the Tajikistan side will seal top spot should they beat AGMK FC, thanks to a better head-to-head against the 2019 AFC Champions League winners.
Thirteen points, however, may well be enough to take Al Hilal through, with the three best runners-up from the five West groups also advancing to the Round of 16.
Preview - Group C: Al Duhail, Al Ahli Saudi square off for AFC Champions League future
Jeddah: Al Duhail SC and Al Ahli Saudi FC will have the benefit of knowing what they have to do going into their 2021 AFC Champions League Group C clash at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium on Friday.
Both are tied on eight with Esteghlal FC, with the Islamic Republic of Iran side playing Iraq's Al Shorta earlier on Friday, with only the group winners assured of advancing to the Round of 16.
The three best runners-up from the five AFC Champions League West groups will also advance, meaning Al Duhail and Al Ahli Saudi will have all to play for even if Esteghlal beat Al Shorta.
Preview - Group C: AFC Champions League survival at stake for Esteghlal as Al Shorta loom
Jeddah: Esteghlal FC will play Al Shorta in their final 2021 AFC Champions League Group C match knowing victory may not be enough for the Islamic Republic of Iran side to advance to the Round of 16.
Victory will take Esteghlal to 11 points but with Al Duhail of Qatar playing Al Ahli Saudi FC in the group's later match, the Islamic Republic of Iran side will only know their fate hours after their tie against Al Shorta with all three teams tied on eights points going into Matchday Six, setting the stage for an exciting finish to Group C.