Esteghlal can win ACL title, coach says

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TehranTimes – TEHRAN, Esteghlal coach Amir Ghalenoei has said that his team can win the AFC Champions League title.

Esteghlal defeated Al-Ain 1-0 in Group D at the Tahnoun Bin Mohamed Stadium on Tuesday and qualified for the last 16.

The Iranian powerhouse team advanced to the next stage with 13 points. Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia also booked a berth in the next round with 9 points.

Ghalenoei was satisfied with his team’s performance and the result.

“Everything went to plan for us. Al Ain obviously was looking for a win and we were prepared for them. We wanted to win, too, because our objective was to finish on top of our group,” he said on Wednesday.

“I also thank the Iranian fans, who supported us against Al-Ain in the stadium. I am so happy since Esteghlal has qualified for the last 16 as the first team in ‘Group of Death’. I am also sorry for Al-Ain because they would have advanced if they were in any other group,” Ghalenoei added.

“From now on, we have to analyze our rival in the last eight. In my opinion, we could advance to the next round if we don’t make mistake, however football is unpredictable. Real Madrid and Barcelona conceded four goals each in the Champions League. Esteghlal can win the title if the team will be supported by the Iranian officials,” the Esteghlal coach stated.

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