Fans are on their feet for football in Asia as the AFC Champions League 2010 and AFC Cup 2010 delivered some surprises on Tuesday (March 23rd) and Wednesday.
In the AFC Champions League on Tuesday, Iran's Esteghlal Tehran hosted Garrafa from Qatar. The Iranian starters secured the three points with a thrilling show, whipping Garrafa 3-0. Tehran superstar Farhad Majidi scored two goals, and Pejman Montazeri netted the third.
Saudi Shabab lost an away game to Ain, the UAE team, 2-1. The two sides played equally well for a stretch of the match, but in the end, Ain pulled away. UAE's other team, Jazira, traveled to Saudi Arabia to face strong side Ahli. The match was a clear win for Ahli, who trashed Jazira 5-1. It took Ahli only two minutes to score the first goal, and they ended the goal marathon by the final minute.
In AFC championship action Wednesday, Mes Kerman traveled to Qatar to play against local heroes Sadd. Mes Kerman scored first to end the first half one goal ahead. But Sadd played better in the second half, scoring four times to give their fans reason to cheer. Wehda lost at home in the UAE to the Saudi outfit Ittihad, 2-0. Abdelmalik Ziaya and Mohammed Nour scored for Ittihad, who secured three points. UAE Ahli stole a draw in the last seconds of the match against Saudi Hilal, who thought they were winning the match, only to suffer a late Ahli goal and gain only one point. Round four begins March 30th and 31st.
In the AFC Cup 2010 on Tuesday Kuwait Kazma secured a road victory by beating Uzbekistan's Nasaf Qarshi 2-1. Qatar outfit Rayyan also lost at home, 2-0, playing against Bahrain's Riffa. Jordan's Shabab Ordon managed a scoreless draw against Oman's Saham. The match was slow, with few chances for either team, and both sides failed to score a single point.
Jordan's other team, Wihdat, nailed a 2-0 victory against the Omani team, Nahda. The match was fast and violent, and the referee had to show two red cards, one for each side. Lebanon's Ahed and the Syrian outfit Jaish tied 1-1 in Beirut. Lebanon's boys scored first, but the celebration didn't last long as it took the Syrian stars only two minutes to tie the score. On another pitch, Yemeni outfit Ahli Sanaa failed in Syria and lost to Karamah 2-0.
In Wednesday AFC Cup action, Kuwait Qadsia SC secured three points by clawing their way to a 3-2 win over Indian side East Bengal. India's other team in the running, Churchill Brothers SC, marked an away victory by beating Helal Sahely in Yemen. Ittihad of Aleppo defeated Lebanese outfit Nejmeh 4-2 in Syria. Round four will take place on April 6th and 7th.
The Egyptian Volleyball Cup 2010 semifinals get started on March 29th. The last four teams are set to fight for a place in the final. Ahly will take on Giesh and Zamalek faces Smouha. Both matches are shaping up to be hard battles that require all players' best efforts to get to the finals, which will take place on March 31st.
In hoops action, Qadsia were just one step away from being crowned champions of the Kuwaiti Basketball League when the four best teams fought their way to Round four. Qadsia beat Kazma 88-80 on Thursday. An 88-80 win against Kuwait SC on Friday put the trophy in their hands.