Azmoun, Son, Mabkhout and more: Vote for your Asian Qualifiers Player of the Month
Kuala Lumpur: For some, it was the month the Road to Qatar 2022 became decidedly precarious, and the continent’s star players pulled out all of the stops to keep their teams on track.
Some of Asia’s biggest names produced the heroics required to keep their respective nations’ FIFA World Cup dreams alive, and they were joined by new faces eager to leave a mark of their own.
An elite 12 teams remain in contention for a place at next year’s global showpiece, but which player played the biggest role in shaping their side’s destiny? Who was the outstanding player in Asia’s momentous month?
2021 AFC Champions League (East): Five Forwards in Form
Kuala Lumpur: As the big kick off to the 2021 AFC Champions League rapidly approaches, the-AFC.com takes a look at the strikers who are poised to make a difference in the eastern side of the continent.
With no shortage of attacking talent on display, we shine the spotlight on five frontmen who are on fire in their clubs’ domestic campaigns and could be set to bring those hot streaks onto the Asian stage in this year's continental club competition.
Tashkent: Uzbekistan's capital welcomes Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale, Korea Republic's Daegu FC, United City FC of the Philippines and China PR's Beijing FC to Group I of the 2021 AFC Champions League with the action kicking off on Saturday.
Three J1 League titles in the past four years and leading the way this time, Kawasaki will look to bring domestic dominance to the continent, while Daegu return for a second time, Beijing rely on youthful zest and United City are set to make their long-awaited debut in the AFC Champions League.
Tashkent: The kick off to the 2021 AFC Champions (East) is now just days away with the four teams in Group H beginning their campaigns in Uzbekistan on Friday.
And it's a group with plenty of pedigree as two-time AFC Champions League winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea Republic and 2008 champions Gamba Osaka of Japan lead the cast. The pair are joined by Thailand's Chiangrai United, who return for the second successive year, and Singaporean debutants Tampines Rovers.
Buriram: Thailand's Buriram Stadium will see hosts Port FC welcome China PR's Guangzhou FC, Hong Kong champions Kitchee SC and Cerezo Osaka of Japan to Group J of the 2021 AFC Champions League with the action set to kick off on Thursday.
The 2021 edition sees Port make their long-awaited debut in the AFC Champions League while Kitchee return for the first time since 2018 boasting a continental superstar with a record in his sights.
Bangkok: The 2021 AFC Champions League (East) gets underway on Tuesday when the four teams in Group G kick off their campaigns at Thailand's Rajamangala Stadium.
Ratchaburi Mitr Phol from the host country will make their continental debut and they will be joined by Southeast Asian rivals Johor Darul Ta'zim of Malaysia, 2009 winners Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic and Japan's Nagoya Grampus, who return for the first time since 2012.
Thrilling AFC Champions League (East) Group Stage returns
Kuala Lumpur: The exciting AFC Champions League (East) Group Stage begins tomorrow in centralised venues when three-time champions FC Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic face debutants Ratchaburi FC of Thailand in Group G at the Rajamangala Stadium at 5pm (local time).
At the same venue, the 2020 Malaysian Super League winners Johor Darul Ta’zim begin their campaign against Japan’s Nagoya Grampus four hours later while Shanghai Port FC of China PR will meet Kaya FC-Iloilo of the Philippines in the Playoff Stage the following day with the winner earning a coveted spot in Group F.