Doha: Esteghlal FC head coach Farhad Majidi was a happy man following Tuesday’s victory against Qatar’s Al Rayyan in their 2020 AFC Champions League play-off match.
The former Islamic Republic of Iran national team forward saw Esteghlal score five goals against their hosts at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium to book their place in the group stage of the competition for the fourth consecutive year.
Play-off: Al Rayyan SC (QAT) 0-5 Esteghlal FC (IRN)
Doha: Islamic Republic of Iran’s Esteghlal FC cruised to a 5-0 victory over Qatar’s Al Rayyan at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday to book their place in the 2020 AFC Champions League group stage.
Esteghlal had arrived to the play-off stage on the back of a 3-0 win over Kuwait SC in the second preliminary round, while Al Rayyan were kicking-off their campaign at this stage on home soil after finishing fourth in the 2018-19 Qatar Stars League season.
Nabbout ecstatic to be back at 'biggest competition in Asia'
Kashima: Melbourne Victory's match-winner Andrew Nabbout expressed his delight at returning to the AFC Champions League following the A-League side's 1-0 win over Kashima Antlers in the play-offs on Tuesday.
Having weathered a Kashima storm in the first half, Melbourne netted the tie's only goal on 54 minutes when Nabbout was on hand to fire home a deflected effort past Kwoun Sun-tae.
Custodian Lawrence Thomas then put on a goalkeeping clinic to deny the 2018 champions as the A-League side held out for a famous victory.
Play-off: Al Ahli Saudi FC (KSA) 1-0 FC Istiklol (TJK)
Jeddah: A penalty from Youcef Belaïli at the death helped Al Ahli Saudi FC overcome FC Istiklol of Tajikistan to reach the 2020 AFC Champions League Group Stage with a 1-0 win at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium on Tuesday.
Istiklol had qualified to the play-off stage after stunning PFC Lokomotiv 1-0 in Tashkent in the Preliminary Round 2, while Al Ahli qualified as fourth placed in the 2018-19 Saudi Pro League.
Play-off: Al Sailiya SC (QAT) 0-0 Shahr Khodro FC (IRN) (Shahr Khodro win 5-4 on penalties)
Doha: Islamic Republic of Iran’s Shahr Khodro FC completed a history making AFC Champions League group stage qualification, prevailing 5-4 in a penalty shootout after a scoreless draw against Qatar’s Al Sailiya FC at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Mahdi Rahmati was the hero for Shahr Khodro, producing a brilliant shootout save to deny countryman Karim Ansarifard before Saeid Sadeghi struck the decisive blow after more than 120 minutes of hard-fought action.
Shahr Khodro’s success means there will be four Iranian clubs in the group stage, while Al Sailiya will need to wait at least a year longer for their maiden taste of Continental group stage football.
Play-off: Shanghai SIPG FC (CHN) 3-0 Buriram United (THA)
Shanghai SIPG secured their place in the group phase of the 2020 AFC Champions League on Tuesday as late goals from Li Shenglong, Marko Arnautovic and Hulk earned the Chinese side a 3-0 play-off win over Buriram United at Shanghai Yuanshen Stadium.
Li broke Buriram’s stubborn resistance 15 minutes from time in a one-sided match-up in which the Thais defended doggedly before Arnautovic added a second in injury time and Hulk struck from the penalty spot.
Vitor Pereira’s side will now feature in Group H of the AFC Champions League, where they will meet Australia’s Sydney FC, J.League champions Yokohama F Marinos and two-time champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors from Korea Republic.