Nasaf's Berdiev congratulates players, but warns of Alikulov absence
Nasaf: Head coach Ruzikul Berdiev congratulated his FC Nasaf players on reaching the 2021 AFC Cup final, but warned that they may need to play the decider without Khusniddin Alikulov, after Wednesday’s 3-2 extra-time win over Lee Man of Hong Kong.
Strong favourites to advance in front of a 10,000-strong crowd at Markaziy Stadium, the Uzbekistan Super League side looked a class above in the first half, going ahead within four minutes through a Fernando Recio own goal before Khusain Norchaev doubled the lead with his seventh goal of the tournament.
But Lee Man refused to wilt, and managed to force extra-time after goals from Gil Martins and Jose Angel, before substitute Andrija Kaluđerović delivered the decisive goal in the 106th minute to spark jubilant scenes of celebration.
We’ll give everything to win AFC Cup, says Nasaf hero Kaluđerović
Karshi: Extra-time hero Andrija Kaluđerović immediately set his sights towards next month’s AFC Cup final after his 106th-minute volley gave FC Nasaf a thrilling 3-2 win over Hong Kong’s Lee Man in Wednesday’s Inter-Zone final at Markaziy Stadium.
The Uzbek side were two goals up and seemingly cruising towards victory after half an hour, but an opportunistic strike from Gil Martins and a Jose Angel penalty saw the visitors force extra-time before Nasaf’s Serbian substitute sealed victory with an instinctive strike on the turn.
It’s nearly two decades since Kaluđerović took his first steps in the professional game, but there will have been few moments as crucial as this one, which sent Nasaf back to the final 10 years after they famously lifted the AFC Cup in 2011.
‘This is for the fans’, say Muharraq’s Al Hayam and Al Malood after reaching final
Arad: The roaring support at Sheikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium on Wednesday was the key to Muharraq Club’s 2-0 victory over Kuwait SC which sent them to the 2021 AFC Cup final, according to pair Waleed Al Hayam and Abdulwahab Al Malood.
The Bahraini side were faced with the challenge of a star-studded Kuwait SC side in the West Zonal Final, with the visitors boasting in their ranks the likes of former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel and Australian international Ryan McGowan, but it was Muharraq Club who walked away with the victory.
Young stars ready for action at the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022™ Qualifiers
Kuala Lumpur: The stage is set for Asia’s future stars to shine when the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022™ Qualifiers kick off on Saturday in centralised venues.
With the excitement building up, 39 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Associations (MAs) will be vying for 15 available spots to join host Uzbekistan at the keenly anticipated AFC U23 Asian Cup in 2022, which will be staged in the Central Zone for the first time in Asian football history.
AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™ set to inspire young girls
New Delhi: The impending football fever in India is fast approaching for Asia’s flagship tournament for women’s football - the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™, which is set to commence on January 20 next year.
The best 12 teams from the Continent will battle it out for the top honours in the competition which will be played across Navi Mumbai, Mumbai and Pune till February 6, 2022.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which unveiled ‘Our Goal for All’ as the official tagline of the prestigious tournament on the 100 days to go milestone date, have confirmed 10 teams for the competition and two more teams will be finalised this week.
Xavi Hernandez and Laurent Blanc anticipate spectacular FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar
Doha: Two FIFA World Cup™ winners – Laurent Blanc, who lifted the trophy with France in 1998, and Xavi Hernandez, a champion with Spain in 2010 – are currently plying their trade as coaches in Qatar, which will host the next edition of international football’s showpiece event in 2022.
Ahead of the next major milestone on the road to Qatar 2022 – the inauguration of Al Thumama Stadium, the sixth World Cup-ready venue – Blanc and Xavi visited the stadium where they will face-off in the dugout.
UAE to host next FIFA Club World Cup in early 2022
Paris: The United Arab Emirates will host the next FIFA Club World Cup early in 2022, FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced on Wednesday.
The latest edition of the tournament - which features the champions of the six continental Confederations along with the top team in the host nation - was due to be played at the end of this year in Japan before it pulled out as host because of the pandemic.