Kuala Lumpur: With the AFC Cup™ 2022 ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals set to take place on August 9 and 10, the-AFC.com winds back the clock to recall some of the most memorable matches from over the years.
After the Zonal format was introduced in 2017, the ensuing three years threw up some thrilling affairs as the sides battled it out for regional supremacy, before COVID-19 resulted in a two-year AFC Cup hiatus in Southeast Asia.
However, ASEAN has returned this year with Malaysia’s Kedah Darul Aman to take on Indonesia’s PSM Makassar and Vietnam’s Viettel FC to face another Malaysian side, Kuala Lumpur City FC, in the Zonal Semi-finals.
Ahead of those games, we shine the spotlight on some unforgettable ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals from over the years.
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals make a return after two years with Indonesia’s PSM Makassar to play Kedah Darul Aman of Malaysia while Vietnam’s Viettel FC will host another Malaysian side, Kuala Lumpur City FC.
The AFC Cup ASEAN Zone has always been fiercely contested and passionately followed and ahead of the semi-finals, the-AFC.com invites you - the fans - to test your knowledge.
AFC Cup™ 2022 - ASEAN Zonal S-Finals: How They Got There
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Cup™ 2022 ASEAN Zone has reached its climatic stage with four teams ready to battle for supremacy in the Zonal Semi-finals.
Group I winners Viettel FC of Vietnam will take on Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur City (KL City) who advanced as the best runners-up from the ASEAN Zone, while Group H toppers PSM Makassar of Indonesia play Group G winners Kedah Darul Aman of Malaysia.
The winners will advance to the ASEAN Zonal Final on August 24 with the victors advancing to the Inter-Zone Playoff Semi-finals against India’s ATK Mohun Bagan on September 7.
Join the-AFC.com as we take a look at how the four teams reached the AFC Cup 2022 ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals.
Rizky: I'm fulfilling lifelong dream with PSM in AFC Cup™
Makassar: Rizky Eka Pratama has admitted it’s a dream come true to represent boyhood club PSM Makassar in the AFC Cup™ 2022 as the Indonesian side look forward to their ASEAN Zonal Semi-final against Malaysia’s Kedah Darul Aman on August 9.
Winger Rizky, who was born in South Sulawesi, not far from Makassar, was instrumental in helping his side reach the knockout rounds as he scored one and created another in the come-from-behind 3-1 group stage win over Singapore’s Tampines Rovers in June to help PSM top the Group H standings.
The victory saw them qualify for the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals for the second time, having reached the same stage in 2019, and the lifelong PSM fan is now hoping to go even further.
Josue aiming to create more history with Kuala Lumpur City
Kuala Lumpur: Paulo Josue is looking to write a new chapter in Kuala Lumpur City FC’s history as the Brazilian gets set to lead the Malaysian side into the 2022 AFC Cup™ ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals against Vietnam’s Viettel FC on August 10.
After captaining the capital city side to their first Malaysia Cup since 1989 last year, the 33-year-old - who has been at the club since 2017 - was a standout performer as Kuala Lumpur made their AFC Cup debut in June and advanced to the knockout rounds as the best-placed runners-up.
Following a goalless draw against PSM Makassar in their opening Group H game, the midfielder netted two outstanding goals in the 2-1 win over Tampines Rovers that ensured Kuala Lumpur joined PSM, fellow Malaysian side Kedah Darul Aman and opponents Viettel in the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals.
Ngah Wanja: It would be a dream to lift the AFC Cup™ with Kedah
Alor Star: Ronald Ngah Wanja has admitted that Kedah Darul Aman have allowed themselves to dream about winning the AFC Cup™ 2022 but insists the Malaysian side's immediate focus in only on the ASEAN Zonal Semi-final against PSM Makassar of Indonesia.
Having not played in the AFC Cup since reaching the Round of 16 in 2009, Kedah made a long-awaited return this year, with Cameroonian Ngah Wanja among their big-name signings ahead of the competition after joining from Jordanian side Al Salt.