Group E: Ahal sizzle in AFC Cup opener against Ravshan
Bishkek: Turkmenistan’s FC Ahal took an important step towards the 2021 AFC Cup knockout stage, registering a 3-1 win over FC Ravshan of Tajikistan in their tournament opener at Dolen Omurzakov Staidum on Friday.
Ahal captain Elman Tagayev was the star of the night, scoring twice in the opening 20 minutes, with Gurban Annayev making the points safe for Hojaahmet Arazov’s side after Ravshan's Daler Shomurodov had pulled a goal back from the penalty spot early in the second half.
The Turkmen can seal their place in the knockout stage with a win over Kyrgyz Premier League champions FC Dordoi on Monday, while Ravshan’s defeat means their chances of advancing are no longer totally in their hands.
Group F: Nasaf cruise past Alay to kick off AFC Cup campaign in style
Dushanbe: FC Nasaf of Uzbekistan got their 2021 AFC Cup campaign underway with an emphatic 4-0 win over Kyrgyz Republic's FC Alay on Matchday One of Group F on Friday.
The Uzbek side dominated from start to finish, but were unable to find a break in the opening 45 minutes as Shohmalik Komilov and Marko Stanojevic both hit the crossbar from long range.
Alay’s only chance of the first half came against the run of play as Emmanuel Yaghr broke free from Tijani Belaid’s through pass but with just the goalkeeper to beat, he was unable to apply the finish.
Group F: Altyn Asyr, Khujand share points in AFC Cup cracker
Dushanbe: Returning fans at Dushanbe’s Central Republican Stadium were treated to a fine display of attacking football as home side FC Khujand played out a 2-2 draw against Turkmenistan powerhouse Altyn Asyr in Group F of the 2021 AFC Cup on Friday.
The draw means it is Uzbekistan’s FC Nasaf who lead the group after Matchday One, having beaten Kyrgyz Republic’s FC Alay 4-0 in the opening match. Altyn Asyr next face Alay on Monday while Khujand play Nasaf later on the same day.
Tokyo: Japan will play friendly matches against Jamaica and Serbia either side of their final two fixtures in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers, the Japan Football Association has announced.
The new schedule means Hajime Moriyasu’s side will play five matches in 19 days from May 28 to June 15, with three games for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 also on during that period.
Kuala Lumpur: Gamba Osaka have parted company with head coach Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, the 2021 AFC Champions League participants announced on Friday following a disappointing run of results in the J.League.
Miyamoto was appointed to lead the team in 2018 and steered Gamba to a second place finish in last year’s J1 standings, the club’s best showing since 2015.
But the form of the 2008 AFC Champions League winners dipped markedly this season, recording one win in the first 10 games during which Gamba scored just three goals to leave the club in 18th place in the 20-team division.