East Asia Wrap: Kawasaki go 12 points clear in Japan
Hong Kong: For much of the season so far, Cerezo Osaka had been runaway leaders' Kawasaki Frontale's closest challengers, but a 3-1 defeat to the table-toppers on Saturday could well have all but crowned Toru Oniki's side as champions.
Meanwhile, there were some big results in Korea Republic and Hong Kong, and plenty of goals in the Macau League, so join the-AFC.com as we wrap up the best of the action from across East Asia.
And in a new addition to our weekly East Asia wrap we ask you, the fans, to tell us who impressed you the most in the latest round of fixtures by casting your vote at the bottom of the article.
Al Mazmi: I want to take UAE past the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup group stage
Dubai: Mohamed Bashir Al Mazmi is not one to balk at a challenge. In recent years, the United Arab Emirates beach soccer coach has proven he can overcome difficulties, both on and off the pitch. He led the country to two consecutive editions of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and earlier this year overcame COVID-19.
Last May, Al Mazmi announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with someone who had the virus. The up-and-coming coach had to self-isolate for more than two weeks until he recovered and resumed normal life.
After his self-isolation was over, FIFA.com chatted with Al Mazmi about this difficult experience and how he overcame the virus. He also spoke about his aspirations to take the UAE to the Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia next year.
Genoa: Uzbekistan national team star Eldor Shomurodov will feature in Italy’s Serie A, after his transfer to Genoa was confirmed on Sunday.
Shomurodov, 25, joins the club from Russian Premier League outfit FC Rostov on a deal which will last until June 30, 2024.
Already foreshadowed by Rostov - who officially bid the striker farewell late last week, - Shomurodov’s arrival was confirmed in a brief statement issued by Genoa, who announced they had “definitively acquired” the rights to the player.
Vitoria confident bright future awaits Al Nassr after AFC Champions League run
Doha: Head coach Rui Vitoria found positives in his Al Nassr side’s 5-3 penalty shootout defeat to Persepolis in the semi-final of the 2020 AFC Champions League on Saturday.
Current top scorer Abderrazak Hamdallah broke the deadlock on 36 minutes from the spot after Bashar Resan had conceded a penalty, before the Iraqi made amends just six minutes later by assisting teammate Mehdi Abdi Qara’s headed equaliser to put the Iran Pro League champions back in the reckoning.
Golmohammadi dedicates AFC Champions League win to Persepolis fans
Doha: Head coach Yahya Golmohammadi thanked Persepolis FC's fans after the Islamic Republic of Iran champions defeated Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr on penalties to reach the 2020 AFC Champions League final on Saturday.
Going into the semi-final clash at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium without their star striker Isa Al Kasir who was earlier suspended for six months for violating Article 58.1 of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code, Persepolis came from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw before winning 5-3 on penalties.