Air Force Club not giving up on AFC Cup final just yet

Air Force Club captain Hammadi Ahmed still believes the Iraqi side can salvage their AFC Cup West Zone final against Al Wahda following a 2-1 defeat in Tuesday’s first leg.

At present, it is Al Wahda who are favourites to be crowned the tournament’s inaugural West champions – and book their spot in the November 4 final – following their victory at the Said International Stadium in Lebanon.

The Syrian outfit claimed the win courtesy of goals by Anas Bouta and Hadi Masri, but the defending champions gave themselves a lifeline right at the death when Ahmed capitalised on a defensive error to net a poacher’s goal.

With another 90 minutes still be played at Qatar’s Saoud bin Abdulrahman Stadium on September 26, Ahmed is optimistic his side can still dream of retaining the AFC Cup.

“Our physical condition was not up to the mark because we only trained for 10 days after the break,” the 27-year-old said.

“But the tie is not over and hopefully we can have our say in Qatar.”

The Iraq international also believes Air Force can take heart from last year, when they recorded a 1-0 home win over Al Wahda in the group stage courtesy of a goal from their talismanic striker.

“This is football, sometimes we win but other times we lose or draw,” Ahmed added.

“We played them last year during the group stage in Qatar and we won. We then went on to win the title.”