Play-offs: Results & Reports
Ulaanbaatar: DPR Korea’s Hwaepul SC edged closer to an AFC Cup 2018 berth after a comprehensive 4-0 win over FC Erchim from Mongolia in the first leg of the East Zone Play-off on Tuesday.
Ri Chang-ho gave the Koreans the lead with his ninth minute strike, and Ri Song doubled his side’s advantage in the 41st minute at the MFF Football Centre.
Erchim were more passionate in the second half, looking to reduce their deficit, but a goal eluded them.
Hwaepul eventually broke through the Mongolian defence again five minutes from time with Ri Il-san etching his name on the scoresheet, before Chang-ho scored his second in added time to secure a convincing win and a healthy advantage ahead of the return leg next week.
Balkanabat: FC Ahal will take a narrow lead into the return leg of their Central Play-off against FC Khujand after registering a 1-0 win at the Sport Toplumy on Tuesday.
The Turkmenistan side had a dream start, taking the lead in the 18th minute when they were awarded a penalty. Annayev Myrat stepped up to convert.
A second goal, which would have given Ahal more room to breathe in the return leg, was however not forthcoming as Tajikistan side Khujand held firm to ensure next week's return leg will be a hotly contested affair.
The winners will advance to Group D of the 2018 AFC Cup alongside Tajikistan's FC Istiklol, Altyn Asyr FC of Turkmenistan and FC Alay of Kyrgyz Republic.