Isfahan: Goalkeeper Jalal Hassan has admitted that Al Zawraa were happy to come away from the Islamic Republic of Iran with a point after the Iraqi side opened their 2019 AFC Champions League Group A campaign with a 0-0 draw against Zobahan on Monday.
The game at Foolad Shahr Stadium marked the first time an Iraqi side had appeared in the competition since Air Force Club and Erbil in 2008.
Al Zawraa spent much of the game on the back foot, with Zobahan posting 24 shots on goal across the 90 minutes, but the Iraqi backline remained resolute to ensure a happy return to a competition they last graced in 2007.
Group A: Zobahan FC (IRN) 0-0 Al Zawraa Club (IRQ)
Isfahan: Al Zawraa came away from the Islamic Republic of Iran with a valuable point following a 0-0 draw against Zobahan in Group A of the AFC Champions League on Monday.
The fixture at Fooladshahr Stadium marked the return of Iraqi clubs to the AFC Champions League for the first time since 2008.
Al Zawraa nearly stunned their hosts six minutes in when Jabbar Kareem’s header met Hussein Al Jwayed’s cross from the corner. It connected perfectly, but the ball passed just wide to the relief of the home crowd.
Kuala Lumpur: The 17th edition of the AFC Champions League kicks off on Monday with 16 exciting matches to take place over three days across the Continent.
A host of big names will make their AFC Champions League bows, while no fewer than eight former winners will be on show. Ahead of the first round of fixtures, the-AFC.com picks out five things to look out for.
Sydney: Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque has hailed the signing of Reza Ghoochannejhad ahead of the Australian side’s opening AFC Champions League game against Korea Republic’s Ulsan Hyundai at Jubilee Stadium on Wednesday.
After spending the vast majority of his career in Europe – primarily in the Netherlands and Belgium – the Iranian forward joined Sydney on loan from Cypriot side APOEL ahead of the 2019 AFC Champions League campaign.
The 31-year-old former Islamic Republic of Iran international scored his first goal for his new club as Sydney defeated Adelaide United 2-0 in the A-League on Friday and he is now set to take his place in the starting line-up for the Group H match against 2012 winners Ulsan.
Al Ain: Al Hilal striker Bafetimbi Gomis is relishing the opportunity to show how good he and his team are ahead of their 2019 AFC Champions League opener against Al Ain on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal reached the final in 2014 and 2017, losing to Western Sydney Wanderers and Urawa Red Diamonds respectively, as the AFC Champions League title continues to elude the Saudi giants despite their participation in each edition since 2009.
This year, the Riyadh-based side kick off their campaign against Al Ain, the same opponents they started against last year, although this time their group stage opener takes place at Al Ain’s Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.