Kuala Lumpur: Nearly 100 days after Al Ahed SC lifted the 2019 AFC Cup trophy with a 1-0 victory over DPR Korea’s 4.25, the Lebanese side and 11 other West Asian sides get the 2020 edition underway across groups A, B and C.
Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait, Jordan and Oman are represented in the West Zone groups of the 2020 AFC Cup, with six clashes across Monday and Tuesday restarting the wheels in the race towards continental glory.
Preliminary Stage 2 - 1st Leg: Paro FC 0-1 JSW Bengaluru FC
Thimphu: Thongkhosiem Haokip struck in the second half to hand India's JSW Bengaluru FC a vital 1-0 win over Paro FC of Bhutan in the first leg of the 2020 AFC Cup Preliminary Stage 2 on Wednesday.
Paro kicked off the match at the Changlimithang Stadium in high spirits after progressing to the second preliminary round on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate score against Sri Lanka's Defenders FC last week, and dominated proceedings in the opening minutes.
Paartalu ready for another 'exciting' Asian adventure
Thimphu: Bengaluru FC were a regular feature in the AFC Cup knockout rounds between 2015 and 2018 and, having missed out on the competition last year, are eyeing a return this time round ahead of their Preliminary Round 2 first leg against Bhutan’s Paro FC on Wednesday.
A key fixture in the side’s success since joining in 2017 has been Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu, who helped the club win their first Indian Super League title in 2018-19 and is aiming to hold onto that crown this year.
In the build-up to the away date in the Himalayas, the man affectionately known as 'Big E' among the Bengaluru fans spoke exclusively to the-AFC.com about the importance of the AFC Cup, coaching influences, a former roommate turned opponent and man buns.
Nestor: The AFC Cup is vital to the growth of the game in Cambodia
Svay Rieng: Coach Conor Nestor insisted that Svay Rieng's qualification for the 2020 AFC Cup on Wednesday will have a big impact, not only for the Cambodian champions but the country as a whole.
Svay Rieng's 3-0 win away at Laotian side Master7 FC completed a comprehensive 7-1 aggregate victory that concluded this week's ASEAN Zone play-offs and ensured Cambodia are represented for a fourth consecutive edition of the AFC Cup.
A result that is of particular significance for the Irishman at the helm of the club.
Kuala Lumpur: After nearly 350,000 votes, the best goal of AFC Cup 2019 has been decided with Marc Klok's rocket for PSM Makassar against Lao Toyota FC named the winning effort following the public poll on the-AFC.com.
Eight amazing efforts were put up for consideration from Dushanbe via Kuwait and Dhaka to Bogor, but it was a thunderbolt from PSM Makassar midfielder Marc Klok that has been selected by Asia's football fans as the best.
Abahani Dhaka Limited's Sohel Rana was edged out into second place, while Altymyrat Annadurdyyev of Altyn Asyr finished third.