Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Esteghlal coach furious with Al Jazira defeat

Samad Marfavi will make changes after the Iranian club miss out on a home tie in the last 16 of the Asian Champions League.

Al Jazira may have finished at the bottom of their group, but they left Samad Marfavi, the Esteghlal coach, in a rage after a 2-1 win over the Iranian club. Jazira's win brought Esteghlal's unbeaten run the 2010 AFC Champions League to an end and has probably damaged their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. A win for the visitors would have seen them top Group A and home advantage in the round of 16, but Qatar's Al Gharafa took that spot and will meet Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan on May 11 at home. Esteghlal will have to travel to Saudi Arabia the next day for a difficult game against Al Shabab and a fuming Marfavi has promised to crack the whip before that match. "We came here to win all three points and remain as leaders and what we did was not the quality that we have shown in earlier games," he said after the match. "This result is not acceptable and I will be making a few changes to the team formation before we start the knock-out phase." In other surprising results of the final round of group matches, Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad, the finalists last year, were eliminated after a 1-0 defeat to Zobahan of Iran and their loss allowed Bunyodkor to clinch second place in Group B with a 4-1 home win over Pro League leaders Al Wahda. "I'm happy with result, but I expect tougher matches in next rounds," Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Bunyodkor coach who will take his team to Al Hilal for the second round, told afc.com. "I'm satisfied with the win, but we played against a weak team." Kashima Antlers, the Japanese giants, were the only team to finish the group stages with a 100 per cent record and will meet the defending champions Pohang Steelers in the next round. Oswaldo Oliveira, the Antlers' coach, is expecting his side to continue playing in the same vein and take every match as a final. "I think we deserved the 100 per cent record," he said. "We played just enough to be in the position we are in, this is a result of our hard work we have put in up to now. "But we should continue to play like a final each time to produce good results. I hope we can succeed for the rest of the competition. * Compiled by Ahmed Rizvi

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Mitchell Johnson of Kings XI Punjab bowling in the IPL match against Rajasthan Royals at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on Sunday. Pawan Singh / The National / April 20, 2014

IPL Day 5 action in Sharjah

Images from the fifth day of the Indian Premier League in the UAE on Sunday, with Kings XI Punjab beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets with eight balls remaining.

 Raheem Sterling of Liverpool scores the opening goal against Norwich City on Sunday at Carrow Road. Michael Regan / Getty Images / April 20, 2014

In pictures: Sterling, Suarez inch Liverpool closer to title

Raheem Sterling, with a double, and Luis Suarez accounted for all three goals in Liverpool’s 3-2 away win over Norwich City on Sunday, leaving them five points up on Chelsea with three left to play.

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National