Kuala Lumpur: The polls are closed in our bid to assemble the ultimate fans’ AFC Cup Dream Team, but one key question remains – who should be in charge?
Fans from across the continent and beyond have had their say regarding the tournament’s greatest players, but the race to determine which the tournament’s greatest ever coach is only just beginning.
Hailing from Asia, Europe and South America, we’ve selected 10 of the competition’s outstanding coaches, all of whom achieved team success or historical firsts, now it’s up to you to study the shortlist and register your vote.
Club Eagles defeat Thimphu City to keep AFC Cup group stage dream alive
Male: Goals from Hassan Raif Ahmed and Mohamed Naim proved decisive as Club Eagles of the Maldives eliminated Bhutan’s Thimphu City with a 2-0 win in the 2021 AFC Cup Preliminary Stage on Wednesday.
Raif Ahmed opened the scoring in the ninth minute, but the hosts had to withstand a second-half recovery from Thimphu before Naim confirmed his side’s progress with a superb late free-kick.
The result extends Club Eagles’ bid to qualify for the group stage, with another sudden death tie against Abahani Limited Dhaka of Bangladesh to follow next Wednesday, while Thimphu’s continental campaign is over as quickly as it begun.
Sam Kerr, Wataru Endo, Amir Abedzaeh and more: Vote for your AFC International Player of the Week!
Kuala Lumpur: An extended international window has come and gone, and several of Asia’s stars wasted no time showing their class for a range of clubs outside the continent.
With an Australian hat-trick in England, Iranian goalkeeping heroics in Portugal and a Japanese double act in Belgium just a sample of the memorable contributions, there are several worthy candidates for this week’s crown.
But who was the week’s outstanding Asian player abroad? We’ve narrowed it down to a 10-player shortlist, based on performances from April 1 to 7.
Take a look at the nominees below and don’t forget to cast your vote.
Physical strength powered Air Force Club into AFC Champions League group stage, says Odisho
Mecca: Head coach Ayoub Odisho said the physical ability of his players was key in Air Force Club's penalty shootout victory against Saudi Arabia’s Al Wehda FC in their 2021 AFC Champions League playoff at the King Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium on Wednesday.
Air Force found themselves trailing to Youssoufou Niakate's goal after 24 minutes but second half substitute Aymen Hussein's dramatic equaliser in the second minute of added time forced the match into extra time and then the penalty shootout, which the Iraqi side won 3-2.
The win means Air Force Club join UAE’s Sharjah FC, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Tractor and Pakhtakor FC of Uzbekistan in Group B of the 2021 AFC Champions League in Sharjah.
Ten Cate pleased as Al Wahda fight back for AFC Champions League group stage slot
Abu Dhabi: Head coach Henk ten Cate was a proud man after seeing his Al Wahda FSCC side come from behind to defeat Iraq’s Al Zawraa in their 2021 AFC Champions League playoff at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Wednesday.
The Dutch coach, who returned to the UAE club last month, found his side trailing one minute into the second half when Alaa Abdulzahra gave Al Zawraa the lead despite Al Wahda having dominated the first period.
However, Al Wahda equalised through 2017 AFC Player of the Year Omar Khrbin in the 62nd minute before Ibrahim Khalil fired the winning goal in the 77th to take his team into Group E, joining Islamic Republic of Iran’s Persepolis FC, Qatar’s Al Rayyan SC and FC Goa of India.