Kuala Lumpur: After six rounds of fixtures the curtain has come down on the group stage of the 2021 AFC Champions League (West), with eight sides advancing to the knockout rounds and 12 teams exiting the competition.
With some continental giants falling at the first hurdle and others scraping through in dramatic fashion, the-AFC.com looks back at what those involved had to say following an exhilarating two days' of action.
2021 AFC Champions League (West): Round of 16 cast finalised
Riyadh: The 2021 AFC Champions League (West) Round of 16 cast was finalised following the conclusion of the Group Stage on Friday.
As Groups A and C brought the thrilling group stage to a close on Friday, the West Round of 16 cast saw several of the continent's biggest club sides missing out with Qatar's Al Sadd SC and Al Duhail SC and Saudi Arabia's Al Ahli Saudi FC among those who exited the tournament.
Ji, Kerr help Chelsea to UEFA Women’s Champions League final
London: Two of Asia’s brightest stars will fight for the European club title after Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate to qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final on Sunday.
Trailing 2-1 after the opening match in Germany, Chelsea won 4-1 in a breathless second leg, with Korean star Ji So-yun among the scorers and Australian national team captain Sam Kerr the chief creator for another of the goals.
The London club will meet FC Barcelona in the final, to be held in Gothenburg on May 16, after the Spanish side completed a 3-2 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain earlier on Sunday.
Micale relieved after Al Hilal's narrow AFC Champions League escape
Riyadh: Head coach Rogério Micale admitted that Al Hilal SFC were fortunate to advance to the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 after suffering a 2-0 defeat to UAE’s Shabab Al Ahli in their final Group A match on Friday.
A brace from Brazilian forward Igor Jesus nearly dealt a blow to Al Hilal's dreams of advancing to thelast 16 as the Saudi giants finished second behind FC Istiklol of Tajikistan, with the Saudi champions eventually qualifying as one of the three best group runners-up.
Esteghlal had to work hard for AFC Champions League victory against Al Shorta, says Majidi
Jeddah: Head coach Farhad Majidi said Esteghlal FC fought hard to earn a vital 1-0 win against Iraq’s Al Shorta in their final 2021 AFC Champions League Group C tie on Friday.
Esteghlal owed victory to Malian forward Cheick Diabaté, who scored the only goal of the match from the penalty spot for their third win and, more importantly, finish as the Group C winners to seal a place in the Round of 16.
Up next for the Islamic Republic of Iran side are 2019 AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal SFC, with the Round of 16 tie against the Saudi Arabia side scheduled for September.