Preview - Group B: Pakhtakor, Air Force Club out to end AFC Champions League campaigns on winning note
Sharjah: Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor will be hoping to end a disappointing 2021 AFC Champions League campaign on a high when they face Iraq’s Air Force Club on Matchday Six of Group B on Thursday.
The Tashkent-based side had reached the quarter-finals last year, before being eliminated by eventual runners-up Persepolis, but have since then lost a number of key players including Uzbek internationals Jaloliddin Masharipov, Dostonbek Khamdamov and Igor Sergeev, all of whom moved abroad.
Shota Arveladze has also since left his position as head coach and was replaced by his assistant Pieter Huistra.
Al Ahli Saudi's Reghecampf disappointed, Esteghlal's Majidi blames fatigue after AFC Champions League stalemate
Jeddah: Head coach Laurentiu Reghecampf did not hide is dismay following Al Ahli Saudi FC’s 0-0 draw with Esteghlal FC in Group C of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
With Qatar’s Al Duhail SC having suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Al Shorta of Iraq in the group earlier match on Tuesday, Al Ahli Saudi and Esteghlal went into their tie at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium knowing victory would place them in pole position to win the group and seal the sole automatic ticket to the Round of 16.
Instead, the 90 minutes ended in a stalemate, with both tied on eight points with Al Duhail going into Matchday Six on Thursday.
Istiklol hero Dzhalilov dedicates AFC Champions League triumph over Shabab Al Ahli to Tajikistan
Riyadh: Match winner Alisher Dzhalilov dedicated FC Istiklol’s vital 2021 AFC Champions League win over Shabab Al Ahli Dubai to Tajikistan.
Dzhalilov struck in the last minute of stoppage time to secure all three points for Istiklol, keeping the Tajikistan champions at the top of Group A with 10 points, with the captain also praising his teammates on following their game plan.
Micale lauds Al Hilal players after AFC Champions League rebound against AGMK
Riyadh: Head coach Rogério Micale praised the response of his Al Hilal SFC players after the Saudi Pro League side cruised to 3-0 win over Uzbekistan’s AGMK FC in Group A of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
Al Hilal showed no signs of carrying the effects of the 4-1 Machday Four defeat to FC Istiklol as goals from Luciano Vietto, Bafetimbi Gomis and Yasir Al Shahrani sealed victory against AGMK at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium.
The three points took Al Hilal to 10 points, level with FC Istiklol with the Tajikistan side topping the table on a better head-to-head with the Saudi side.
Lamouchi laments ‘worst’ Al Duhail performance, Ilic hails Al Shorta for huge AFC Champions League performance
Jeddah: Sabri Lamouchi admitted that Al Duhail were at their worst in the 2-1 defeat to Al Shorta in Group C of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
The Al Duhail head coach could only watch bemusedly as the already eliminated Al Shorta claimed their first points of the campaign thanks to goals from Amjed Attwan and Mohammed Dawood.
While the Iraqi side had every reason to celebrate their victory, the result was a body blow to Al Duhail’s Round of 16 chances, with the Qataris tied on eight points with Islamic Republic of Iran’s Esteghlal FC and Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli Saudi FC going into Matchday Six.
Young Pakhtakor side will only get better after early AFC Champions League exit, says Huistra
Sharjah: Pakhtakor FC head coach Peter Huistra heaped praise on his youthful side's performance even as they crashed out of the 2021 AFC Champions League following a goalless draw against Tractor FC on Matchday Five of Group B on Monday.
The Uzbek side, quarter-finalists last year, were unable to register a win in their first five games of the campaign, consigning them to a group stage exit in a match that saw chances from Dragan Ceran and Ashkan Dejagah wasted as both sides were unable to break the deadlock, having drawn 3-3 in the reverse fixture earlier this month.