Kang confident of firing Korea Republic into maiden Olympics
Goyang: If courage counts for anything, then young Korea Republic forward Kang Chae-rim looks set to fire her side through when they face China PR in the qualifying play-off for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020.
The two sides are locked in the two-legged decider where the winners will progress to this year's global showpiece. Colin Bell’s Taegeuk Ladies will be the hosts on Thursday in Goyang for the first leg before travelling to Suzhou, China five days later for the return leg. Despite having never qualified for the Olympics before, Kang voiced their determination to book their maiden progression.
"It is perhaps the best opportunity [for us] to qualify for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament for the first time," the Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels striker, who turned 23 last month, told FIFA.com in a pre-match exclusive interview.
"It is the team's common goal to make history [through qualification]. Personally, of course, I want to offer my contribution and grab the chance of playing in our Olympic debut."
Shot at Olympic history will drive Korea Republic in China PR play-off, says Bell
Goyang: Korea Republic head coach Colin Bell believes his side will be motivated by the opportunity to seal a maiden Olympic qualification when they host China PR in the first leg of their women’s Tokyo 2020 qualifying playoff on Thursday.
More than a year after they were originally scheduled to meet, the two sides will finally decide the tournament’s final Asian qualifier over the coming week, with the second leg to be held in Suzhou on Tuesday.
Repeated postponements related to the COVID-19 pandemic may have pushed the 2020 qualifiers well into 2021, but the prize remains the same for Korea Republic, who are eager to make their first major statement since Bell’s appointment in October 2019.
Club Eagles defeat Thimphu City to keep AFC Cup group stage dream alive
Male: Goals from Hassan Raif Ahmed and Mohamed Naim proved decisive as Club Eagles of the Maldives eliminated Bhutan’s Thimphu City with a 2-0 win in the 2021 AFC Cup Preliminary Stage on Wednesday.
Raif Ahmed opened the scoring in the ninth minute, but the hosts had to withstand a second-half recovery from Thimphu before Naim confirmed his side’s progress with a superb late free-kick.
The result extends Club Eagles’ bid to qualify for the group stage, with another sudden death tie against Abahani Limited Dhaka of Bangladesh to follow next Wednesday, while Thimphu’s continental campaign is over as quickly as it begun.
Air Force Club beat Al Wehda on penalties to confirm AFC Champions League group stage spot
Mekkah: Iraq’s Air Force Club beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Wehda FC 3-2 on penalties after 120 minutes ended in a 1-1 draw at King Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium in the 2021 AFC Champions League playoff on Wednesday.
The three-time AFC Cup winners left it late to find the back of the net, cancelling Al Wehda’s first-half goal and taking the game to an extra 30 minutes where the two teams could not be separated.
With this win Air Force Club join UAE’s Sharjah FC, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Tractor and Pakhtakor FC of Uzbekistan in Group B of the 2021 AFC Champions League taking place in Sharjah.
Al Wahda edge Al Zawraa to seal AFC Champions group stage berth
Abu Dhabi: Al Wahda FSCC booked their place in the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage after they came from a goal down to defeat Iraq’s Al Zawraa SC 2-1 in the playoff at Al Nahyan Stadium on Wednesday.
With the win, Al Wahda book their place in Group E, joining Islamic Republic of Iran’s Persepolis FC, Qatar’s Al Rayyan SC and FC Goa of India.
AGMK sink Al Gharafa in extra time to seal AFC Champions League group stage ticket
Doha: A last gasp winner from Jovan Djokić secured a slice of history for AGMK FC, sending the Uzbekistan Super League club to the AFC Champions League group stage for the first time with a dramatic 1-0 extra-time victory over Qatar’s Al Gharafa on Wednesday.
Djokić broke through after nearly two hours of a tense but goalless football, with Mirjalol Kasimov’s side missing several chances before finally booking their place in the main draw.
AGMK will join Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal SFC, Shabab Al Ahli of UAE and Tajikistan's FC Istiklol in Group A, which begins in Riyadh next Thursday while Al Gharafa’s participation comes to an abrupt end.