Analysis: ATK Mohun Bagan follow class of 2016 into AFC Cup knockout stage
Male: The group stage of the 2021 AFC Cup South Asia Zone is now complete with India's ATK Mohun Bagan booking a place in the Inter-Zone Semi-finals after they topped Group D ahead of Bashundhara Kings, Bengaluru FC and Maziya Sports & Recreation.
As the Mariners now look ahead to September's meeting with either Uzbekistan's FC Nasaf or Turkmenistan's FC Ahal, and the three eliminated teams aim to come back stronger in 2022, the-AFC.com looks at the key takeaways from Group D.
Lopez credits ATK Mohun Bagan's resilience after reaching AFC Cup knockout stage
Male: ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez praised his side's tireless efforts in reaching the 2021 AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-finals after their draw with Bashundhara Kings on Tuesday.
Bashundhara, needing to win to advance, took the lead in the 28th minute through Fernandes’ right-footed effort but the Bangladesh champions then suffered a blow with Sushanto Tripura being sent off just before half-time.
ATK Mohun Bagan capitalised in the second half with David Williams equalising in the 62nd minute.
The result meant that undefeated ATK Mohun Bagan completed their Group D campaign with seven points, while Bashundhara made their exit with five points.
Pezzaiuoli praises Bengaluru youngsters after AFC Cup win over Maziya S&R
Male: Head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli was full of praise for JSW Bengaluru FC after their emphatic 6-2 win over Maldives’ Maziya S&R in Group D of the 2021 AFC Cup at the Maldives National Stadium on Tuesday.
Bengaluru dominated from the start to lead 3-0 up at half-time, before Maziya found the net twice but the Indian Super League side powered to victory as Pezzaiuoli's side finished third in the standings with four points with Maziya ending their campaign with three defeats.
Preview: Nasaf ready to deliver in 2021 AFC Cup Central Zonal Final against Ahal
Karshi: Uzbekistan’s FC Nasaf are hopeful their superior preparation will pay dividends when they host FC Ahal of Turkmenistan in Wednesday’s 2021 AFC Cup Central Zonal Final at Markaziy Stadium.
The outstanding team of the Central Zone’s group stage with nine unanswered goals back in May, Ruzikul Berdiev’s side will enter Wednesday’s sudden-death tie as strong favourites largely due to what is expected to be a greater level of match fitness.
Nasaf have the advantage of having played 15 Uzbekistan Super League games this season, including eight since their previous AFC Cup duties, while Ahal are still waiting for Turkmenistan’s Yokary Liga to begin due to persistent delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Focus on IR Iran
Kuala Lumpur: The main event is just days away from kicking off, as the continent’s top dozen sides gear up for the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar.
Over the coming days, the-AFC.com will break down each of the 12 nations still standing, their key men and what it all means in the context of history as they vie for a ticket to the greatest show on earth.
A true powerhouse of the Asian game, Islamic Republic of Iran are targeting a third successive FIFA World Cup appearance and their exceptional strike force makes them one of the favourites to qualify.
AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Focus on Japan
Kuala Lumpur: The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the start of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar by a year, but the battle for one of the four guaranteed berths at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will ramp up in September when the continent’s 12 leading nations battle for a spot at the finals.
While AFC Asian Cup holders Qatar have already claimed a place as the FIFA World Cup hosts, the top two nations in each of the continent’s two qualifying groups will also advance to the Finals while the third-placed finishers will enter into a playoff to potentially claim a further spot for Asia.
Here we take a look at the prospects of Japan, the top seeds in Group B and habitual qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup.
Shomurodov, Iwabuchi, Jahanbakhsh & more: Vote for your AFC International Player of the Week
Kuala Lumpur: The goals, saves and standout performances came thick and fast over the last week as Asian players plying their trade outside the continent continued to star.
There was debut delight for Eldor Shomurodov, Kim Min-jae and Mana Iwabuchi as well as a goalkeeping masterclass from Amir Abedzadeh, while several players left their mark on the continental stage in Europe.
But which of Asia’s stars shone brightest of all? Study our shortlist – based on performances in competitive matches from August 18 to 24 – and don’t forget to register your vote.