Central Asia Domestic Wrap: Sepahan’s high five, Tajik League set to expand
Bishkek: Sepahan are on track to finish the year leading the pack in Islamic Republic of Iran, after they and Persepolis both leapfrogged Esteghlal on a busy Thursday night of league fixtures.
While the Iranian action was on the pitch, news from elsewhere in the region took place on the sidelines, with news of an expanded Tajik League and two significant coaching appointments among the week’s highlights.
Join the-AFC.com for all the key news and results from Bandar Abbas to Bukhara.
Kuala Lumpur: Defending champions Al Hilal SFC will play in Group B of the 2020 AFC Champions League following the conclusion of the draw at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal, who defeated Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan to lift the 2019 title after runners-up finishes in 2014 and 2017, will have Shabab Al Ahli Dubai (UAE), Pakhtakor (UZB) and the winner of a play-off for company.
Khalilzadeh voted best goal of AFC Champions League 2019
Kuala Lumpur: After nearly four million votes, the best goal of the 2019 AFC Champions League has been decided with Shojae Khalilzadeh's incredible scissor kick for Persepolis against Al Ahli named the winning effort following the public poll on the-AFC.com.
Ten fantastic goals were nominated that spanned the Continent from Uzbekistan to Urawa, but it was Persepolis' defender Khalilzadeh whose amazing acrobatics that captured the attention and favour of Asia's football fans.
Bekabad: Dominant FC Pakhtakor sealed the Uzbekistan Super League title with six matches remaining, ending a four-year drought after Dostonbok Khamdanov scored both goals in a 2-1 win away at Metallurg Bekabad on Saturday.
The Tashkent-based club’s record-extending 12th domestic title comes following 12 consecutive league wins and secures direct qualification for the group stage of the 2020 AFC Champions League.
The runaway success also ends the championship streak of city rivals PFC Lokomotiv, who won three successive titles from 2016 to 2018.
Kuala Lumpur: Al Ahed FC will begin the defence of their AFC Cup title in Group A following the completion of the draw for the 2020 edition at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Al Ahed will have Bahrain's Manama Club, Al Jaish of Syria and the winner of the West Zone Play-off for company as the Lebanese side will seek to make it back-to-back AFC titles after defeating DPR Korea's 4.25 SC in the 2019 final.
Kuala Lumpur: After nearly 350,000 votes, the best goal of AFC Cup 2019 has been decided with Marc Klok's rocket for PSM Makassar against Lao Toyota FC named the winning effort following the public poll on the-AFC.com.
Eight amazing efforts were put up for consideration from Dushanbe via Kuwait and Dhaka to Bogor, but it was a thunderbolt from PSM Makassar midfielder Marc Klok that has been selected by Asia's football fans as the best.
Abahani Dhaka Limited's Sohel Rana was edged out into second place, while Altymyrat Annadurdyyev of Altyn Asyr finished third.
Kuala Lumpur: The 2019 AFC Cup produced some memorable moments across the Continent and some of the brightest young stars in the Asian game showcased their talent over the course of the season.
Among them was a title winner, the competition's youngest ever goalscorer and a defender whose performances helped earn him a move to Europe, so join the-AFC.com as we highlight the achievements of five youngsters who stood out.