2021 AFC Cup final - Muharraq Club: Players to Watch
Kuala Lumpur: Years pass, generations change but something remains unchanged at Muharraq Club; every player who pulls on the famous red shirt dreams of playing a role in bringing home the AFC Cup title.
Nearly a decade and a half after the iconic mid 2000s squad created history in Bahrain, winning the 2008 AFC Cup, the current contingent are gearing up to face FC Nasaf with the trophy within touching distance. We have picked three players who could play a vital role in the final, having already done say en route to reaching this stage.
Kuala Lumpur: They are the men who have propelled FC Nasaf to Friday’s AFC Cup final, and they will be eager to ensure that the best chapter in the club’s 2021 story remains yet to be written.
With six successive wins to their name and 21 goals scored, there have been several impressive players to Nasaf’s stellar run to the decider against Bahrain's Muharraq Club, but we’ve picked out three of the very best.
2021 AFC Cup Final - The Coach: Isa Al Sadoon (Muharraq Club)
Arad: Few managers are as intertwined with their club’s recent history as Isa Al Sadoon, who prepares to lead Bahrain’s Muharraq Club in the 2021 AFC Cup final against FC Nasaf on Friday.
Born in Bahrain’s northern island of Muharraq and having spent the biggest chunk of his career at his hometown club, Al Sadoon returned for a third spell in charge of the club last year and is now within one match of crowning a lifelong association with Muharraq Club with a continental trophy.
Interning under iconic coach Salman Sharida in the early 2000s, Al Sadoon developed his coaching career through the age group teams at Muharraq, eventually being promoted to an assistant coach post from which he contributed to bringing home Bahraini football’s first-ever continental title as Muharraq Club lifted the 2008 AFC Cup.
Kuala Lumpur: Determination was the key word in Muharraq Club’s journey towards the 2021 AFC Cup final; their first in 13 years, as the Bahraini club brushed aside two former champions to arrive within 90 minutes from their second continental title.
Pitted against Lebanon’s Al Ansar, Palestine’s Balata Center and Jordan’s Al Salt in Group B which was hosted by the latter in Amman, the start of Muharraq’s journey was far from easy.
Kuala Lumpur: A decade after becoming the first Uzbek club to win the AFC Cup, FC Nasaf are title contenders once again.
Now, after six consecutive wins against opponents from Central Asia and beyond, Ruzikul Berdev’s side are one victory away from expanding on their current status of being the only club from Uzbekistan to win a continental trophy, by becoming the first to win two.
Along the way there have been breakout stars, stunning attacking football and thrilling knockout stage encounters, taking the club from the nation's south one step away from another claiming another piece of Asian football history.
As we edge ever closer to Friday’s decider against Muharraq Club of Bahrain, join the-AFC.com in retracing Nasaf’s steps through the 2021 AFC Cup.
Manama: After an enthralling AFC Cup campaign, Bahrain’s Muharraq Club and Uzbekistan’s FC Nasaf will meet in the final, with both clubs aiming to lift the title for the second time at the Sheikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium on Friday, November 5, at 7pm (local time).
Both sides are now one match away from repeating their previous feats with Muharraq Club – the only Bahraini club to compete in the AFC Cup – qualifying for the final for a third time, having finished runners-up in 2006 before clinching the title in 2008.
Ryan, Taremi, Azmoun and more: Vote for your AFC International Player of the Week!
Kuala Lumpur: With goals, saves and assists by the hatful, Asia’s stars outside the continent continued their fine form with several fine performances in Europe.
Mat Ryan produced an outstanding display of shot-stopping in Spain, a trio of Iranian strikers continued their blistering form, while two of the continent’s rising women’s stars lit up their respective Scandinavian leagues.
But who shone the brightest this week? Study our list of contenders, based on performances from October 26 to November 1, and don’t forget to cast your vote.