Airforce Club of Iraq overcame Altyn Asyr and won their third successive AFC Cup title at Basra Sport City Stadium on Saturday. Maintaining their 100% success rate in the AFC Cup final, they have ripped apart the record books, attaining the remarkable continental glory three times in a row beating three different opponents. We have assembled some major talking points from the AFC Cup Final yesterday.
Airforce defence is hard to break :
So what’s their secret behind conceding so few goals? There isn’t one. Just a brilliantly well-drilled man-orientated defensive scheme with each and every player carrying out their defensive duties to the absolute utmost aimed at restricting the opponent’s ability to play in all areas of the field. They look not just to apply pressure in the final third with the aim of stopping the opponent from playing, however, they also use a variety of techniques to win the ball in the opponent’s half, and then counter attack. This sums up their defensive discipline and the three Cleansheet in three finals!
Hammadi Ahmed : Man of big occasion :
Having played an influential role Airforce Club’s three successive AFC Cup Campaigns, if there is one player with the big-game experience and match-winning ability then Hammadi Ahmed is for reckon. Hedirectly contributed to most percentage of success of the club. He is known for his link up play with Amjad Radhi and creating menace. On a big night, Ahmed applied a calm finish from close range for his eighth goal of the campaign in the 22nd minute to give Airforce the necessary lead. He was awarded the MVP of AFC Cul, his second MVP award in three years!
Altyn Asyr : Fought till the very end :
Altyn Asyr created history by becoming the first side from Turkmenistan to play in the AFC Cup final. But on a big night they were chasing the game against the highly motivated and experienced Airforce Club especially after early setback in 22 minute. But in the second half they opted all out approach with Altymyrat Annadurdyyev looking decisive but golden opportunity went begging and 7 minutes later Airforce scored the second to dent the chances of Altyn of the title glory.
In 64th minute, Altyn were awarded the penalty, Selim Nurmuradov stepped up to take the spot-kick but blasted his effort well over the crossbar to ruin another opportunity to lead the charge of a fightback. Late pressure from Altyn Asyr produced little in terms of scoring chances but it was Airforce who were more clinical on the night.
Airforce equals the AFC Cup record :
Air Force Club or Al-Quwya Al-Jawya emerged victorious in the 2018 AFC Cup final at Basra Sport City on Saturday, having equalled the record of joint most successful team in AFC Cup history with 3 titles, with Al Kuwait SC who were the first team to reach the three titles mark.
Class above the rest ?
The first title gives the most euphoria with most emotion because it’s the first time. The second a little less and the third you’re more contented. You know it’s there and the job is done. The natural consequence of winning so much, with Airforce being too good for AFC Cup, they would like to push on AFC Champions league pursuit to compete against the Asia’s best clubs which is also essentially the top club competition in Asia. The only stumbling block on their path will be the AFC licensing criteria for participating in AFC Champions League.