Central Asia Domestic Wrap: Spoils shared in Tehran derby, goal rush in Tajikistan
Bishkek: Four goals and 90 minutes of high-stakes action couldn’t separate Persepolis and Esteghlal in a memorable Tehran derby, while Lokomotiv- Pamir and Dushanbe-83 both reached double figures in FFT Cup matches in Tajikistan.
Join the-AFC.com for the key news and results from Kokand to Qom.
West Asia Domestic Wrap: Al Hilal march on, Shabab Al-Ahli beaten
Beirut: Reigning AFC Champions League winners Al Hilal continued their domestic dominance as they widened the gap at the top of the Saudi Pro League standings while UAE Pro League pacesetters Shabab Al-Ahli suffered their second defeat of the season.
Qatar powerhouses Al Duhail and Al Sadd registered big victories in the Qatar Amir Cup Round of 16 while Al Qadsia shared a scoreless draw with Kuwait SC but remained at the top of the Kuwait standings.
The pacesetters in Bahrain, Oman and Palestine were unchanged. Join the-AFC.com as we review the latest round of action in West Asia.
Group B - MD1: Pakhtakor (UZB) 2-1 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai (UAE)
Tashkent: Goals from Jaloliddin Masharipov and Dragan Ceran helped Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor get their 2020 AFC Champions League Group B campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 home victory over Shabab Al Ahli Dubai of the United Arab Emirates in a muddy Pakhtakor Stadium on Monday.
The hosts came into their first encounter against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai hoping to extend their six-match unbeaten home run in the competition.
Group A - MD1: Al Shorta (IRQ) 1-1 Esteghlal FC (IRN)
Erbil: Iraq’s Al Shorta collected a point on their return to the AFC Champions League after holding Islamic Republic of Iran’s Esteghlal FC to a 1-1 draw at Franso Hariri Stadium in Group A on Monday.
The home team went into the game dreaming of becoming the first-ever Iraqi side to defeat an Iranian team in the AFC Champions League after seven previous meetings between teams from the two neighbouring nations.
Group B - MD1: Al Hilal SFC (KSA) 2-0 Shahr Khodro FC (IRN)
Dubai: Goals from Andre Carrillo and Bafetimbi Gomis either side of the half-time break earned Al Hilal SFC a 2-0 victory over Islamic Republic of Iran’s Shahr Khodro FC at Al Wasl Stadium as the Saudis got their AFC Champions League title defence off to a winning start on Monday.
Making their 16th appearance in the competition, Al Hilal wasted no time in taking the game to their debutant opponents’ half.
Inside the first 15 minutes, Yasser Al Shahrani had side-footed wide from Carillo’s cross and Giovinco threatened from distance, shooting just wide. Giovinco forced goalkeeper Mehdi Rahmati into a top drawer save at the half-hour mark as Shahr Khodro had to weather an avalanche of Saudi attacks.
Kuala Lumpur: The 18th edition of the AFC Champions League gets underway on Monday with holders Al Hilal SFC among the teams in action on the opening day of what promises to be another magnificent journey through to November’s final.
As ever, their will be plenty of new faces on display, with a FIFA World Cup winner, an Iranian debutant and a long-awaited return among the-AFC.com’s five things to look out for on Matchday One.