Exciting ties on the cards
Kuala Lumpur: The cast for the Inter-Zone Playoff Semi-finals will learn what stands between them and the AFC Cup trophy when the Draw takes place in the Malaysian capital on Wednesday.
the AFC.com takes a look at their journey through the group stages and what DPR Korea's 4.25, India's Bengaluru FC, Altyn Asyr of Turkmenistan and Home United-Ceres Negros, who will meet in the ASEAN Zonal Final, can expect in the Draw.
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DPR Korea's 4.25 were impressive in the group stages, finishing unbeaten as they topped Group I. They scored 23 goals as they swept past Benfica Macau, Hwaepul and Han Yuen en route to qualifying for the Inter Zone Playoff Semi-finals.
Pak Sung-jin’s side have never made it past the Inter-Zone Playoff Semi-finals, with their only appearance coming last year where they lost both legs to Bengaluru.
Goals scored: 23
Leading scorer: An Il-bom - 8 goals
Bengaluru were on the ropes after falling to New Radiant FC 2-0 but staged a remarkable comeback to advance. A 4-0 victory over Abahani Dhaka, coupled with Aizawl FC's 2-1 win over New Radiant SC meant that the Blues emerged Group E winners. Bengaluru will be making their fourth consecutive appearance in the knockout stage of the AFC Cup and will be without coach Albert Roca after the Spaniard decided to leave at the end of the Indian Super League season.
Goals scored: 14
Leading scorer: Daniel Lucas Segovia - 4 goals
Turkmenistan side Altyn Asyr will be making their first appearance in the knockout stage of the AFC Cup following their record of four wins and two draws in Group D, which included a remarkable 4-3 win over Istiklol on Matchday Six, with the winner coming deep in added time.
Altyn’s best finish in the competition was reaching the group stages in 2017 and 2016. Having beaten Istiklol, Ahal and Alay Osh to secure top spot, Yazguly Hojageldyyew’s side will now be aiming higher.
Goals scored: 17
Leading scorer: Altymyrat Annadurdyyew - 6 goals
The final Inter-Zone Playoff Semi-finals slot will be decided after the showdown between Home United and Ceres Negros in the Asean Zonal Final on August 1 and 8.
Home United and Ceres Negros both advanced to the Zonal Semi-finals after finishing with 13 points to top Group E at the expense of Boeung Ket Angkor and Shan United.
In the Semi-finals, Home United beat Persija Jakarta 3-2 and 3-1 to win the tie 6-3 on aggregate while Ceres Negros overcame Yangon United 6-5 on aggregate following their 4-2 victory and 3-2 defeat in the two legs.
Goals scored: 23
Leading scorer: Bienvenido Maranon - 10 goals
Goals scored: 21
Leading scorer: Song Ui-yong - 7 goals
The winners of the Inter-Zone Playoff Semi-finals will advance to the two-leg Inter-Zone Playoff Final - on September 9 and October 3 - with the winners going on to face either Al Jazeera or defending champions Air Force Club, who will play in the West Asia Zonal Final on September 18 and October 2.
The AFC Cup Final will be played on October 27.