AFC Champions League: All you need to know about Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Mumbai City FC's group stage opponents
Mumbai City FC will be up against Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in their second group stage match of the 2023 AFC Champions League on April 8, at the King Fahd Stadium, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) outfits are featuring in the elite continental event for the first time, having gained entry by winning the League Winners’ Shield in the 2020-21 domestic season.
However, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya has been in the Asian circuit for a while and is fairly successful. Let us get a rough idea of the opponents ahead of the big clash.
Founded in 1931, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (Air Force Sports Club) is the oldest existing club in Iraq, and is based out of Rusafa District, Baghdad. Nicknamed as ‘The Falcons’, the team is one of the most successful in the country, having won seven Iraqi Premier League titles. They are currently the defending champions, having recently claimed the trophy in the 2020-21 edition.
On the continental stage, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya created history by becoming the first club to win the AFC Cup three times in a row - 2016, 2017 and 2018. They have featured in the AFC Champions League on five occasions, but have never been able to get past the group stage. Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya’s best ever performance in the Arab Club Champions Cup was when they made it to the quarter-final in the 2012-13 edition.
Form Guide: WWWDW
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya have won four of their last five matches in the Iraqi Premier League and are unbeaten in the same time frame. They are currently at the third spot, with 48 points from 25 matches, with 14 wins so far. Going into the tournament, they are in red hot form and have the edge over their Indian rivals.
Head to Head
Mumbai City FC and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya have never crossed paths before, with the former making their debut in a continental event.
One of the most experienced players in the setup, Hammadi is a threat to any team, having already scored six times this season (the most by any Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya player), including two goals in the last four matches. The Iraq veteran, with 40 international caps, will lead the charge for his club in the upcoming game.
The central defender started his senior career for San Francisco Football Club, based out of his country - Panama. Following which, he played for clubs in Colombia, Portugal, Kazakhstan and Peru, before joining Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. With loads of experience under his belt, he could prove to be a huge obstacle for Mumbai City FC attackers.
Fixture: Mumbai City FC vs Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Date: April 11, 2022
Time: 10:45 PM (IST)
Venue: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Telecast: Star Sports Network