Preliminary Stage: Bali United go through
Bali: Bali United overcame stiff resistance from Tampines Rovers FC to seal a spot in the second round of the 2018 AFC Champions League preliminary stage on Tuesday.
Bali United triumphed 3-1 but Singapore club Tampines were no pushovers, drawing level after going a goal down early in the match.
Indonesian side Bali United will play Thailand's Chiangrai United in the second stage of the preliminary round on January 23.
Fadhli Sausu gave Bali United the lead in the 17th minute to send their fans into raptures but Tampines defender Shannon Stephen drew his side level three minutes before the half time break.
Bali, however, regained the lead through striker Ilija Spasojevic in the 62nd minute but had to wait till second half added on time before sealing the win, with Hanis Putra confirming the victory.
The Preliminary Stage 1 winners will join six clubs from the East and ASEAN Zones in the second stage of the qualifiers on January 23, which will feature Eastern SC from Hong Kong, Vietnam’s FLC Thanh Hoa, Thailand’s Muangthong United and Chiangrai United as well as Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta'zim and Brisbane Roar from Australia.
The four winners from the Preliminary Stage 2 phase will then have to battle some of the Continent’s biggest clubs, including two-time AFC Champions League winners Suwon Samsung Bluewings and last year’s semi-finalists Shanghai SIPG FC in the Play-off Stage on January 30. The Group Stage commences on February 12.