Persepolis eying heroic ACL comeback at Azadi Stadium
One last push
Persepolis captain Seyyed Jalal Hoseini issued a rallying cry to the Persepolis fans ahead of today’s game.
The Reds will be targeting a third comeback in this year’s knockout stage, after they overturned deficits against Al Jazira of the UAE and Qatar’s Al-duhail earlier in the competition, the-afc.com reported.
Both those recoveries took place in front of a capacity crowd at the Azadi Stadium, and Hoseini is calling on one last push from the faithful at one of Asia’s most famous arenas today.
“They are so important. They have always been beside us, especially this year when we have been in some difficult situations,” he said.
“They have acted like our strong arm in different matches and have never left our side. We have reached the final with their support but we wasted one match.
“However, there are still 90 minutes left. And this is the final moment for them. I want to ask them to be just like the players and not waste any energy before kickoff. We, the players and fans both, have to start together with full energy. I ask them not to waste any energy because we need it during the match.” A goal from Kashima would leave Persepolis needing four in return, and the 36-year-old knows keeping a steady balance between defense and attack will be key.
“The most important thing is not to concede any goals. And at the same time we have to score – we have to do two difficult things at the same time. But we have our fans beside us and we have to be incredibly motivated.
“By working hard and maintaining an understanding of the situation we have to play very well from the first minute.”
“I can only promise that I will try to do the best I can. We can do big things together. But it is a very tough match for both teams, especially for us, as we need to score two goals and keep a clean sheet to make the match level.
“It is a very hard job and it requires lots of energy. I hope our fans inject this energy into us so we can start the match very strongly from the beginning.” Stephen Curry has counted on staying healthy after injuries limited him to 51 games last season. Everything was going according to plan for the Golden State star – until Thursday night.
The two-time MVP left with a leg injury and the Warriors were unable to recover in a 134-111 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that snapped their eightgame winning streak, The Associated Press reported.
Eric Bledsoe scored seven straight points during Milwaukee’s big third quarter and finished with 26. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the Bucks handed the Warriors their first defeat at home this season.
The two-time defending NBA champions were already missing All-star Draymond Green and then lost Curry midway through the third. Curry strained the adductor muscle in his left leg and went to the locker room shortly thereafter. He did not return.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 24 points and Kevin Durant had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Curry scored 10 points in his second straight game below 20 after getting at least 23 in every game previously – including five 30-point performances and a 51-point outing in three quarters. He dished out six assists in 26 minutes.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said his players took the floor with “mindless intent” and then hurt themselves with foul trouble.
“Sometimes you’ve got to get hit in the mouth in this league to remind you
how hard it is to win a game,” he said.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 20 points and Khris Middleton had 17 points and six assists as Milwaukee (9-2) won for the second straight time at Oracle Arena after a 116-107 victory on March 29.
“To come in here and play the defending champs and have a win like this, it’s huge,” Brogdon said. “It’s huge for our confidence. I think it sends a message around the league, but regardless we have to continue to play hard every night and play on both ends.”
Antetokounmpo had 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block by halftime as the Bucks led 6451 at the break.
Golden State (10-2) is still tied for the second-best start in franchise history behind the 2015-16 team that began 24-0. The Warriors dropped to 6-1 at home.
“They just played hungrier than us,” Thompson said. “It was just an ugly night at the office.”
NOAH GRAHAM/GETTY IMAGES Giannis Antetokounmpo (R) of the Bucks goes up for the basket against the Warriors in an NBA game in Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA, the US, on November 8, 2018.