Group B: Al Salt cruise past Balata Center to seal spot in AFC Cup knockout stage
Amman: Jordan’s Al Salt qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup West Zonal semi-finals after romping to a 5-0 victory against Palestine’s Balata Center on Matchday Three to finish second in Group B on Thursday.
The result means Al Salt finished second behind Muharraq, who topped the group on the head-to-head record, but Al Salt’s goal-difference of +5 put them ahead of compatriots Al Faisaly as the best runners-up as they joined Muharraq, Al Ahed and Kuwait SC in the West Zonal semi-finals, with Al Salt playing Kuwait SC next.
Group B: Muharraq Club continue AFC Cup adventure in style
Amman: Bahrain’s Muharraq Club sealed a place in the West Zonal semi-finals with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Lebanon’s Al Ansar on Matchday Three of the 2021 AFC Cup Group B on Thursday.
Muharraq finished on six points, the same with Al Salt but ahead on head-to-head after having beaten the Jordanian side 1-0 in their earlier encounter. Al Salt sealed their place in the semi-finals as the best second-placed team after defeating Palestine's Balata Centre 5-0.
Al Muharraq will face 2019 champions Al Ahed of Lebanon in the West Zonal semi-finals while Al Salt will play Kuwait SC.
Group C: Tishreen beat Al Ama'ari Center to end AFC Cup campaign with a flourish
Amman: Syria’s Tishreen bowed out of the 2021 AFC Cup on a high, recording an emphatic 5-1 victory against Palestine’s Al Ama’ari Center in the final game of Group C on Thursday as both sides were eliminated from the competition.
Tishreen dominated from the start and looked determined to end their campaign with a flourish. An early Kamel Koaeh effort that was saved by Al Ama’ari Center goalkeeper Ahmad Madanieh inside 10 minutes showed a sign of things to come.
A poor clearance for Madanieh allowed the Syrians to win possession deep inside their opponents half and Khaled Kurdaghli whipped a cross that was headed away by the Palestinian defence but only as far as Thaer Krouma, who rifled on the half-volley into the bottom corner to open Tishreen’s account in the 17th minute.
Group C: Kuwait SC edge Al Faisaly for AFC Cup West Zonal Semi-final ticket
Amman: Ahmed Akaichi's second half goal steered Kuwait SC to a 1-0 win over Al Faisaly of Jordan, sealing them a place in the 2021 AFC Cup West Zonal Semi-finals as Group C winners on Thursday.
Kuwait SC will play Jordan's Al Salt, who advanced as the best second-placed team, in the West Zonal semi-finals while Lebanon's Al Ahed will face Al Muharraq of Bahrain.
With the two sides going into the game separated by two points, three-time champions Kuwait SC needed a win to snatch the lead of the group and they duly delivered against a host side that lacked the clinical efficiency needed to secure the points.
Kuala Lumpur: More than 18 months since the majority of countries last took part in competitive action, the Asian Qualifiers are set to return on May 28 at eight centralised venues across the continent.
With the action coming thick and fast over a two-week period during which teams will look to secure a place in the next round of qualifying, the-AFC.com shines the spotlight on some of the form players who will be representing their nations.
Japan remain Asia's best in latest FIFA World Ranking
Kuala Lumpur: Japan lead the way as Asia's best ranked team in the latest FIFA World Ranking released on Thursday.
The Samurai Blue's position remained unchanged at 28th, and will be among the first teams to resume their campaign in the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 with Hajime Moriyasu's men to play Myanmar at the Fukuda Denshi Arena on Friday.