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Ghalenoei: Esteghlal Will Play FInal Match Against Al Jazira

News 17 march 2014
Coach Amir Ghalenoei has called on his Esteghlal players to treat each of their remaining AFC Champions League fixtures “like a final” starting with Tuesday’s clash with United Arab Emirates side Al Jazira at Azadi Stadium.
Semi-finalists last year and two-time Asian champions, the Iran league title holders have struggled in this year’s edition of the continental competition and have suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats by both Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s Al Rayyan.
And now they face Al Jazira who, along with former champions Ulsan Hyundai, currently hold the only 100% record remaining in this year’s AFC Champions League after two consecutive victories, and Ghalenoei wants his players to raise their game for the must-win encounter.
“We have four matches ahead of us and every one of these games is like a final match for us. I’ve told my boys that they must make amends for the last two games,” said coach Ghalenoei.
“Al Jazira have displayed two very good matches so far in the competition. They have also been playing really well in the Emirates local league.
“I confess we haven’t got any good results so far, but I don’t blame any players for our results so far. It’s been only my fault and I take full responsibility for these two defeats.”