Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

AFC: Champions and Cup review

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on May 12, 2011

AFC Champions League logoThe group stages in the two major Asian club competitions have concluded on Wednesday and there was plenty of tension in the air. The remaining places in the Round of 16 stages of each competition were up for grabs and ensured some dramatic action on Matchday 6.

In the AFC Champions League there was virtually nothing left to play for in the east of the continent as all of the qualifiers from Groups E-H were known before kick-off. It was a different tale in the west of the continent however with a number of places still available from Groups A-D. Iranian giants Esteghlal were arguably the biggest casualty despite winning their final Group B game 2-1 at home to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Sadd, the away side just scraping through the group with a better goal difference of two separating them from their hosts after six games. Group D proved to be just as dramatic with Emirates Sports Club, who still had a chance of second place, losing to wooden spoonists Al-Rayyan by 2-0 and allowing Saudi side Al-Shabab to claim the second spot after they defeated group winners Zob Ahan FC 1-0 thanks to a Fisal Bin Sultan goal in the 57th minute. The final Round of 16 place was decided in Group A following a head-to-head between Al-Hilal and Al-Gharafa with the former gaining victory over the latter by two goals to nil and ensuring that they come second in the group, level on points with Sepahan.

2011 AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16 DRAW

Sepahan (Iran) v Bunyodkor (Uzbekistan)

Al-Ittihad (Saudi Arabia) v Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia)

Al-Sadd (Qatar) v Al-Shabab (Saudi Arabia)

Zob Ahan (Iran) v Al-Nassr (Saudi Arabia)

Gamba Osaka (Japan) v Cerezo Osaka (Japan)

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (South Korea) v Tianjin Teda (China)

FC Seoul (South Korea) v Kashima Antlers (Japan)

Suwon Bluewings (South Korea) v Nagoya Grampus Eight (Japan)

One-leg matches to be played on May 24-25

AFC Cup logoThe AFC Cup, Asia’s equivalent of the Europa League or Sudamericana, saw defending champions Al-Ittihad (Iraq) suffer a shock exit in Group B. They had to defeat group winners Al-Qadsia (Kuwait) in order to claim the second spot but were defetaed 3-2 to end all hopes of progressing. Group C also saw some real drama with three teams – Dohuk FC, Al-Faisaly Club and Al-Jaish – all finish on eleven points and had to separated on head-to-head records. Despite having the overall superior goal difference Syrian side Al-Jaish were unfortunate to be eliminated as their records against the Iraqi and Jordanian qualifiers was inferior. Al-Kuwait, AFC Cup champions in 2009, scored a last minute penalty to defeat Al-Talaba 2-1 and secure second place by five points at the expense of their Iraqi opponents. Similarly, in Group F, Indonesian team Sriwijaya FC clinched second spot by a solitary point after leapfrogging challengers TSW Pegasus (Hong Kong) following their 3-2 win in Palembang. Group E saw Lebanese side Al-Ahed go through, also via a superior head-to-head record, following their 2-0 win over Al-Oruba. This, coupled with Arbil’s defeat of Al-Karamah, gave Lebanon’s sole representative the final place in the last 16.

2011 AFC CUP ROUND OF 16 DRAW

Nasaf Qharsi (Uzbekistan) v Al-Faisaly (Jordan)

Duhok FC (Iraq) v Dempo FC (India)

Al-Qadsia (Kuwait) v Al-Kuwait (Kuwait)

Al-Wehdat (Jordan) v Shurtan Guzar (Uzbekistan)

Arbil SC (Iraq) v Tampines Rovers (Singapore)

Muangthong United (Thailand) v Al-Ahed (Lebanon)

Song Lam Nghe An (Vietnam) v Persipura Jayapura (Indonesia)

Chonburi FC (Thailand) v Sriwijaya (Indonesia)

One-leg matches to be played on May 24-25

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