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AFC Cup 2018 draw confirmed

Kuala Lumpur: Reigning AFC Cup champions Air Force Club from Iraq have been handed a potentially difficult start to their title defence following the official draw for the competition’s 2018 edition in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

With the AFC Cup continuing to be split into zones, Air Force Club - who last month defeated Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol to claim a second successive continental crown - find themselves in West Asia’s Group A, where they will have Malkiya Club from Bahrain, Jordan’s Al Jazeera and a yet to be determined Play-off winner for company.

Meanwhile, defeated finalists Istiklol will look to make amends for their 2017 disappointment when they begin their latest title assault from Group D in the Central Zone. They will face FC Alay from Kyrgyzstan, the Central Zone’s Play-off winner and a representative from Turkmenistan.

The fixtures for the Preliminary and Play-off stages – as well as the clubs competing in them – were also finalised at the event.

Draw Results

West Asia Zone

Group A
Malkiya Club (BHR)
Al Jazeera (JOR)
Air Force Club (IRQ)
Winner of PO WEST 3 (OMA/PLE)

Group B
Al Ahed (LIB)
Manama Club (BHR)
Al Jaish (SYR)
Al Zawraa Club (IRQ)

Group C
Al Faisaly or AL Wendat (JOR)
Al Ansar FC (LIB)
Dhofar Club (OMA)
Al Wahda (SYR)

Central Zone

Group D
FC Istiklol (TJK)
Turkmenistan 1st Club
FC Alay (KGZ)
PO - winner (TJK/TKM/KGZ)

South Zone

Group E
Aizwl FC (IND) or Mohun Bagan (IND)
New Radiant SC (MDV)
Bangladesh 1st Club
PO - Winner (IND/MDV/BHU)


Group F
Philippines 1st Club or 3rd club
Home United FC (SIN)
Shan United (MYA) or Yadanarbon FC (MYA)
Winner of PO Asean 3 (LAO/CAM)

Group G
Bali United FC (IDN) or Madura United (IDN)
Philippines 2nd Club
FLC Than Hoa (VIE) or Hanoi FC (VIE)
Yangon United FC (MYA)

Group H
Tampines Rovers (SIN) or Geylang International FC (SIN)
Persija Jakarta (IDN)
Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS) or Selangor FA (MAS)
Song Lam Nghe An FC (VIE)

South Zone

Group I
4.25 SC (PRK)
Hang Yuen FC (TPE)
Benfica Macau (MAC)
PO - Winner (PRK/MNG)

Preliminary Stage and Play-off Stage Match Schedule

West Play-off

22 January - Hilal Alquds Club (PLE) vs. Al Suwaiq (OMA)

29 January - Al Suwaiq (OMA) vs. Hilal Alqudsclub (PLE)

Manama Club (BHR) & Al Ansar FC (LIB) – receive bye to AFC Cup 2018 Group Stage

ASEAN Play-off

22 January - Cambodia 1st club vs. Philippines 2nd Club

29 January - Philippines 2nd Club vs. Cambodia 1st Club

22 January - Lao Toyota FC (LAO) vs.Home United FC (SIN)

29 January - Home United FC (SIN) vs.Lao Toyota FC (LAO)

Yangon United FC (MYA) – receive bye to AFC Cup 2018 Group Stage

Central Preliminary

January 23 - Dordoi FC (KGZ) vs. Turkmenistan 2nd Club

January 30 – Turkmenistan 2nd Club vs.Dordoi FC (KGZ)

Central Play-off

February 13 - Winner PS 2 vs. FC Khujand

February 20 - FC Khujand (TJK) vs. Winner PS 2

South Preliminary

January 23 – Transport United (BHU) vs. JSW Bengaluru FC (IND)

January 30 – JSW Bengaluru FC (IND) vs.Transport United (BHU)

January 23 – Bangladesh 2nd Club vs. Maldives 2nd Club

January 30 - Maldives 2nd Club vs. Bangladesh 2nd Club

South Play-off

February 13 - Winner PS 2 vs. Winner PS 1

February 20 - Winner PS 1 vs. Winner PS 2

East Play-off

February 13 - Erchim FC (MNG) vs. Hwaepul SC (PRK)

February 20 - Hwaepul SC (PRK) vs Erchim FC (MNG)