Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Iranian teams have been satisfactory in ACL: expert

April 28, 2021 - 18:34

TEHRAN – Football expert Sattar Hamedanis says that Iranian teams have shown good performance in the 2021 AFC Champions League.

The fifth matchday of the ACL was the worst day of the matches for the Iranian teams as they ended the day with three draws and one defeat without a win. The bad news was Foolad Khoozestan’s defeat against Al Sadd which cost them the tournament. They have no chance to qualify for the knockout stage even if they win as they lost the chance to finish among the three best second-placed teams.

Sattar Hamedani, a former player of Esteghlal, believes that the Blues have a good chance to make it into the knockout rounds.

“Esteghlal played cautiously against Saudi opponent, knowing that even a draw would place them in pole position to win the group. Now their chances to secure the top of the table remain in their own hands. They still have a tough match ahead, but the face-to-face battle between the two other teams (Al Duhail and Al Ahli) is in our interest.

“Al Ahli played much better than the first leg against Esteghlal; they were a completely organized team. It proves the high level of Group C and shows how difficult has been the path for Farhad Majidi’s side,” Hamedani said.

“In my opinion, Iranian team are showing signs of mental and physical fatigue, which is understandable given the fixture pile-up they are facing with. Persepolis started the tournament in the best way possible and secured their qualification to the next round even as the second team of their group. However, fatigue affected the performance of Persepolis as well in their recent match, and they lost three points.

“Tractor have been unbeaten so far in the competition, and they should fight to stay in the AFC Champions League because they are really deserved to be there.

“It will take a huge effort for the Iranian outfits to pull clear of trouble at this late stage of the campaign, but they need a renewed belief to overcome this challenge in the best possible way,” he concluded.

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