2021 AFC Cup West Zonal Final - The Contenders' History
Arad: Wednesday night sees two of the most successful sides in AFC Cup history go head-to-head as Muharraq Club of Bahrain host Kuwait SC in the West Zonal Final with a place in the 2021 AFC Cup Final at stake.
Both sides were at their best in the first decade following the inception of the AFC Cup in 2004 and have since come across difficult times, with the 2021 edition offering both an opportunity to regain past glories. the-AFC.com looks at the highlights of Kuwait SC and Muharraq Club’s AFC Cup history.
Chan: Mental strength and team spirit Lee Man's strongest weapons in AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final
Karshi: Chan Hiu Ming believes Hong Kong side Lee Man FC have already made history by reaching the 2021 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final, but the head coach is still hoping to cause a major upset when his team face Uzbekistan's FC Nasaf on Wednesday.
It appears a mismatch on paper with FC Nasaf, founded in 1986, boasting a rich domestic and continental history that includes an AFC Cup title, multiple campaigns in the AFC Champions League and a semi-final appearance at the 2002 Asian Club Championship facing off against a Lee Man a side who came together in 2017.
Nevertheless, these two vastly contrasting clubs have reached the penultimate stage of the 2021 AFC Cup. Ahead of the clash with the 2011 winners at Markaziy Stadion, the-AFC.com spoke with the 46-year-old Chan, a former Macau national team coach, about his side's chances of continental glory.
Semi-final Preview: Al Nassr, Al Hilal set for enthralling derby
Riyadh: An enticing Saudi Arabian derby awaits as Al Hilal SFC face cross-city rivals Al Nassr at King Saud University Stadium on Tuesday in the bid for a spot in the 2021 AFC Champions League final.
This is a match-up of several seconds: The second all-Saudi semi-final, the first coming in the 2012 AFC Champions League edition, when two-time champions Al Ittihad faced Jeddah rivals Al Ahli FC Saudi. It is also Al Nassr’s second semi-final in a row, losing last time out on penalties to Persepolis.
Proud Kim praises Pohang Steelers after masterclass against Nagoya Grampus
Jeonju: Pohang Steelers head coach Kim Gi-dong spoke of his immense pride in his team after the K League 1 side defeated Japan’s Nagoya Grampus 3-0 to reach the AFC Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2009 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Sunday.
The Steelers weathered a storm from the J League side in the first half, but after the break Kim’s charges were in command as a brace from Lim Sang-hyub and a goal from Lee Seung-mo saw the red-and-black clad men into the last four.
Hong applauds Ulsan Hyundai players for staying strong against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Jeonju: Ulsan Hyundai head coach Hong Myung-bo saluted his players’ never-say-die attitude as the holders’ defence of their AFC Champions League title continues into the semi-finals following their 3-2 win after extra-time against fellow K League 1 side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Sunday.
The Horangi took the lead on three separate occasions over the 120 minutes of play at Jeonju World Cup Stadium, but first half goals from Valeri Qazaishvili and Yun Il-lok were each time cancelled out by their opponents as Han Kyo-won and Takahiro Kunimoto responded.
However, there was to be no answer for a stunning strike from substitute Lee Dong-gyeong in extra-time that ultimately settled matters as Ulsan took a step towards becoming the first team to retain the continental title since Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad in 2005.
Myanmar defeat Lebanon to take huge step towards India 2022
Bishkek: Myanmar took an important first step towards the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, defeating Lebanon 4-0 in their opening qualifier at Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Monday.
A first-half penalty from Win Theingi Tun put Tin Myint Aung’s side ahead, before Myat Noe Khin, San Thaw Taw and July Kyaw made the points safe with goals after the interval.
Two more wins over the next week will be enough to send Myanmar back to Asia’s top women’s event having missed the 2018 edition in Jordan, while Lebanon’s bid for a first ever appearance in the Finals is no longer entirely in their hands.
East Asia & ASEAN Wrap: Marinos win to keep up the chase
Kuala Lumpur: Two goals in the final 10 minutes saw Yokohama F. Marinos defeat Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 2-1 on Saturday as they kept alive their slim hopes of catching Kawasaki Frontale at the top of the J1 League.
Thai League 1 pacesetters Buriram United chalked up another win while the leaders in Indonesia, Bhayankara, were beaten by Persib Bandung in what was their first defeat of the season.
And there was one game in Korea Republic, so join the-AFC.com as we bring you up to speed with the latest round of fixtures across East Asia and ASEAN.