Preview - Group F: Knockout stage on the line as Nasaf face Altyn Asyr in AFC Cup’s 'mini final'
Dushanbe: Ruzikul Berdiev’s side need only a draw to qualify for the 2021 AFC Cup Zonal finals, but the FC Nasaf boss will be instructing his players to aim solely for victory when they face Altyn Asyr FC on Thursday.
The two sides will clash in the decisive match in Group F, with Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr capable of leapfrogging their opponents into top spot with a win on the final Matchday at Republican Central Stadium.
With seven unanswered goals and the maximum six points from their two earlier matches, 2011 champions Nasaf come into the decider as favourites to advance, but Berdiev insists nothing will be taken for granted against the Yokary Liga champions.
Kuala Lumpur: The West Asia side of the AFC Cup has provided many moments of magic and stunning strikes to savour and, with the 2021 campaign kicking off on Friday, we review some of the best.
From terrific team goals to amazing acrobatics and fantastic free-kicks, the West Asian clubs have more than contributed their share of memorable AFC Cup highlights.
The-AFC.com turns the clock back to recollect five outstanding entries to the competition's collection ahead of the 2021 AFC Cup's West Zone kick-off on May 21. Don't forget to vote for your favourite at the bottom of the article!
Kuala Lumpur: Al Ahed FC created history in 2019 as they became the first side from Lebanon to lift the AFC Cup after seeing off DPR Korea's 4.25 SC 1-0 in the final.
Issah Yakubu stole the headlines when he headed home with just over 15 minutes to play, but this was a triumph built first and foremost by solidarity throughout. The Beirut side conceded just three goals in a campaign in which they were almost impenetrable at the back.
Led by established Lebanese internationals such as captain Haytham Faour and goalkeeper Mehdi Khalil, as well as skillful forward players Mohamed Haider and Ahmed Zreik, there was no shortage of talent in Bassem Marmar's all-conquering side.
As Al Ahed prepare to kick off their 2021 AFC Cup group stage on May 24, the-AFC.com looks back at a success that will live long in the memory.
Thailand, Vietnam in the way as Iraq, Lebanon seek debut appearances in FIFA Futsal World Cup
Khor Fakkan: Iraq and Lebanon will be seeking to confirm inaugural appearances in the FIFA Futsal World Cup when the AFC Playoffs kickoff on Thursday.
Iraq will face Thailand, while Vietnam will play Lebanon, with the respective winners of the two-legged playoffs to advance to the global Finals hosted by Lithuania.
The winners will complete the list of Asian Qualifiers, with Japan, Islamic Republic of Iran and Uzbekistan already assured of a place in the final draw based on historic results in recent AFC Futsal Championship tournaments.
Al Shehri: Saudi Arabia have lofty Olympic ambitions
Zurich: Despite being relatively young, Saad Al Shehri has emerged as one of the leading Saudi coaches of the past few years, enjoying notable successes with youth teams at a range of clubs as well as leading Saudi Arabia to the last 16 at the FIFA U20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017.
Al Shehri was a midfielder of considerable promise when he turned pro in the late ‘90s, even representing Saudi Arabia at the FIFA U20 World Cup in 1999. However, serious pelvic and cruciate ligament injuries brought a premature end to his playing days in 2008 at the age of just 28.
Determined to continue in the game, he embarked on a coaching career that saw him manage age-category sides at Saudi clubs Al Qadsiah, Al Nassr, and Al Ettifaq clubs before leading the national team to the AFC U-19 Championship final and the Gulf Cup title in 2016, a year before the aforementioned achievement at Korea Republic 2017.
Shomurodov, Bala Devi and four Japanese stars: Vote for your AFC International Player of the Week!
Kuala Lumpur: Super subs, long-range wondergoals and relegation-defying late winners were all on the menu as Asia’s overseas stars enjoyed another bumper week outside of the continent.
Eldor Shomurodov and Maya Yoshida starred in Italy, while Takefusa Kubo made a major impact in Spain and women’s stars from Asia’s two most popular countries made memorable contributions on opposite sides of the globe.
But who deserves this week’s crown? Study our shortlist – based on performances from May 12 to 18 – and cast your vote.