Tehran Times – TEHRAN, Esteghlal coach Winfried Schaefer says they still have a chance of qualifying for AFC Champions League knockout stage.
The Iranian giants lost to Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia Tuesday night in Group C at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.
The result means Al Hilal need just one point from their remaining two games to book their place in the knockout stage for the ninth time in the past decade.
Qatari club Al Duhail sit second with seven points. Esteghlal freeze at four points and Al Ain of the UAE remain bottom of the table with just two points.
“We will never give up when there is still a chance to qualify for the next stage. We are a great team and we’ll fight for everything,” the German coach said.
“The first 30 minutes of the first half they played better. We have to finish when we have the chance but our players wasted their opportunities against Al Hilal,” Schaefer said.
“In the second half, we had a lot of possessions and created scoring chances but failed to do that. From now on, we will concentrate on Al Duhail match because we should get back on track by beating the Qatari team at our home,” the Esteghlal coach added.
“Esteghlal players are under pressure for the domestic league schedule. We will have to travel to Mashhad on Friday to face Padideh. We are aware of the importance of proper recovery. Recovery is as important as training for us,” Schaefer concluded.