I’m sure I’m missing a trick here. For all the AFC knockout games I’ve previewed this week, I’ve given you a ‘one to watch’ on each team. I’ve also stressed on more than one occasion about the need for man marking. Now, I am just someone who writes about Asian Football out of the goodness of my heart. What a good heart! If I can pick out the problems but people who get paid to do just that can’t, am I in the wrong line of work? Let me take you through the four knockout games.

#1 Al-Faisaly 0-1 Al-Jazeera (Aggregate: Al-Faisaly 1-2 Al-Jazeera).

Al-Jazeera kept up their recent good-run of results against Al-Jazeera with a goal in the second-half from Al-Taamari. In the first-half, Al-Faisaly had a golden opportunity to open the scoring from the penalty spot, however, a good save prevented that from happening. Take nothing away from Al-Taamari, his goal was very well taken. If someone was stuck to him like glue like I suggested in the preview, he wouldn’t have scored. Al-Faisaly exit the competition after not listening to me. Well done lads. Let’s try some man marking next time, eh?

#2 Al Ahed 2-2 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (Aggregate: Al Ahed 3-5 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya).

Don’t get me wrong, when Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya got two early goals in Lebanon, they probably switched off. Rightly so as well. Those two first-half goals from Ahmad and Mohsin meant that Al Ahed needed to score FIVE in the second-half to qualify. Fat chance. When Kdouh got one for Al Ahed just before the 70th minute mark, they needed four goals in twenty minutes. Or, a goal every five minutes. Ahmad Zreik was my danger man. Guess what? Aye, that’s right, he scored. Why he was afforded so much room on the left-hand side, I’ll never know. Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya didn’t pay the same price as Al-Faisaly, fortunately for them.

#3 Persija 1-3 Home United (Aggregate: Persija 3-6 Home United).

For reasons I can no longer remember, I didn’t select a dangerman on Home United’s side. It was probably because I was too focused on Marko Simic for Persija. I said it was a fact that he was going to score for Persija. If that’s not a bold statement, I don’t know what is. Naturally, he scored after nine minutes to draw Persija level after Ishak gave Home United an early lead. Two more first-half goals for Home United and a red card for Persija meant their second-half wasn’t worth bothering with.

#4 Yangon United 3-2 Ceres (Aggregate: Yangon United 5-6 Ceres).

This one offended me the most. For the second week running, I picked out Yangon’s Sylla and Ceres’ Bienve as the two players that had to be watched closely. With the game finely poised at 1-1, Bienve ghosted in around the back and stuck it in. What the fuck was the defending all about? Nobody tracked him. He’s their best player! While I may be running the risk of sounding like a broken record, it wouldn’t have happened if someone was man marking him…

Bienve then lost his head and thought it would be funny to wind the whole of Myanmar after the goal. He got sent off. Hopefully it will get overturned on appeal because it looked quite harsh. We’ll see. Sylla was left totally unmarked at the back post which enabled him to knock down a deep cross which made the game 2-2. AGAIN, wouldn’t have happened if someone was man marking! Fucking hell, even I’m getting sick of repeating it. He then scored from the spot to make it 3-2. Yangon probably would have gone through if they bothered marking Bienve. Clowns.

If Anyone Wants Any Man Marking Help, Give Me A Call

Yeah, so if any clubs are reading this and want me to do some opposition scouting, get at me on Twitter. I’m not promising miracles, but if you’re struggling with the fucking basics, let’s tidy that up first.

Until the next time.