Preview - Group A: Zobahan FC (IRN) v Al Nassr (KSA)
Doha: Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr and Islamic Republic of Iran’s Zobahan face-off on Wednesday in a direct battle for the top spot of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group A at the Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha.
The match had been scheduled to take place on May 21 in Karbala, Iraq but was postponed and moved to an alternative venue for security reasons.
Both teams had secured qualification to the Round of 16 with a game to spare. Zobahan needed an added time goal from Reza Habibzadeh to snatch a point from Al Zawraa on Matchday Five and reach 11 points at the top of the group. Al Nassr, meanwhile, cruised to a 3-1 win over Al Wasl to join the Iranians in the next stage.
Abu Dhabi: 2003 AFC Champions League winners Al Ain missed out on direct qualification to the 2020 edition after falling 1-0 to Al Wahda as the 2018/19 UAE Pro-League came to a close on Sunday.
Sebastian Tagliabue was the star of the night at the Al Nahyan Stadium when he headed home in the 87th minute to ensure Al Wahda leapfrogged Al Ain to finish third in the standings on goal difference with 46 points. The Argentinian also clinched the topscorer award with 27 goals to his name, having played 25 matches.
Ibaraki: Kashima Antlers head coach Go Oiwa expects his team to learn the lessons of a challenging group phase in the 2019 AFC Champions League after the defending champions squeezed into the last 16 on Wednesday.
Substitute Sho Ito scored twice to earn Kashima a 2-1 win over Shandong Luneng and a place in the next round, when they will play fellow J.League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima over two legs in June.
Kuala Lumpur: Seven of the eight groups in the 2019 AFC Champions League drew to a close last week, with 16 sides set to continue their quest for Continental glory when the knockout rounds begin in four weeks' time.
A further 16 teams – along with Spanish legend Xavi – have now departed the competition. Ahead of the month-long break, here's the-AFC.com's look back at the week in numbers.