TEHRAN (Iran News) – The Persian Gulf Pro League side Sepahan has one last shot at qualifying for the round of 16 from Group D when it faces the UAE’s Al Ain on Matchday Five of the 2020 AFC Champions League (ACL) on Monday.
Sepahan sits in third place, trailing second-placed Al Sadd by five points and requires a win along with group leader Al Nassr doing the Isfahan-based club a favor when it faces the Qatari side to stand any chance of qualification going into the final game, the-afc.com reported.
Despite Al Ain losing three of its four games so far, Sepahan assistant coach Mojtaba Toutouni had no doubts about the abundance of quality in the Emirati side’s ranks.
“The match against Al Ain will be a difficult one, and it is our final shot at qualification to the round of 16 from this group,” said Toutouni.
“We watched both games Al Ain played against Al Sadd, the team was really good and we have a lot of respect for them but we need to get the three points in this match, and we will do our absolute best to achieve that. Whoever plays in the AFC Champions League must be ready to face all sorts of circumstances, and we have the necessary experience to do so in this tournament.”
“Our players did well in the past two games and deserved better results. We have to look forward now, take what we can from the experience gained and think of the future,” said Toutouni.
Playing for pride after early elimination, head coach Pedro Emanuel believes his Al Ain side still has a point to prove in one of the toughest groups of the competition.
“Tomorrow’s match will be a new challenge for us because we want to win,” said the Portuguese.
“We respect Sepahan, they did really well in the two previous games against Al Nassr and the result in the last match was not fair on them based on how things went during the match. They still have a chance of progressing and need to win to keep that chance alive. We believe they are a good team, but we also have something to prove ourselves.”
The previous match between the two sides ended in a resounding 4-0 victory for Sepahan on the opening matchday, with Mohammed Mohebi, Kiros, Soroush Rafiei and Mohammed Tayyebi all getting on the scoresheet at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.
- source : Iran Daily