Ahli Al Khalil coach Ayman Sandouqa was unable to hide his excitement after his side secured a spot in the group stage of the AFC Cup following a 1-0 win over Khujand on Tuesday.
Mahmoud Wadi's 21st-minute effort was the only goal of the game, and saw the Palestinian club safely navigate through qualifying. While Sandouqa was thrilled that his side advanced to the group stage of the tournament, he acknowledged that they cannot afford to make the same mistakes they did against Khujand.
“I’m happy that we could advance to the group stage of the competition,” he told the official AFC website. “We put in a lot of effort in order to continue in the AFC Cup and I want to thank the players and the fans for their support tonight.
“We were hoping to qualify in order to have two teams from Palestine in the group stage for the first time ever. We will try to fix the mistakes that we made in the match tonight in order to be prepared for the group stage.”
Ahli Al Khalil have since been placed in Group D of the AFC Cup along with Bahrain’s Al Muharraq, Oman’s Fanja and Syria’s Al Jaish, who won the inaugural AFC Cup in 2004.
Ahli Al Khalil will kick off their AFC Cup adventure with a trip to Bahrain to face Al Muharraq on February 24.