Tehran Times - Esteghlal coach Winfried Schaefer has called on to the fans to provide excellent atmosphere to help them to beat Al Ain of the UAE.
Esteghlal will host the Emirati football team on Tuesday in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium in matchday two of the 2019 AFC Champions League Group C.
Esteghlal and Al Ain had most recently clashed in the 2017 edition in the round of 16. Back then, Kaveh Rezaei gave the Iranian side a 1-0 win in Tehran, but an Omar Abdulrahman masterclass inspired the Emiratis to a 6-1 thumping in the return leg in Al Ain.
Since then, Rezaei and Abdulrahman have both left for pastures new. Esteghlal reached the quarter-final in 2018, while Al Ain exited at the round of 16 last year.
“First, I request the Esteghlal fans to respect our opponents. They should not use laser pen and don’t throw objects onto the field during the match. I know that our fans are the best and should be role model for anyone,” the German coach said.
“We need our fans to support us against Al Ain. The fans are our 12th man on the pitch,” he declared.
“Everybody knows that how strong Al Ain are. They finished in the second place in the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 a couple months ago. I watched their match against Real Madrid at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi,” the Esteghlal coach added.
“We can beat Al Ain if we play them with full concentration. In my opinion, Al Ain played well against Al Hilal despite suffering a loss but we are capable of beating them in our home,” Schaefer concluded.
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