Kolkata: ATK Mohun Bagan’s (ATKMB) AFC Cup™ 2022 campaign came to an end following their 3-1 defeat to Kuala Lumpur City FC in the Inter-Zone Semi-final on Wednesday but head coach Juan Ferrando wants his players to continue striving to reach greater heights.
An ATKMB victory looked to be on the cards after Fardin Ali Molla equalised in the 90th minute, only for the India side's hopes to be dashed when Kuala Lumpur City’s Fakrul Aiman and Romel Morales each scored in added time. Captain Paulo Josue had put the Malaysian side ahead in the 60th minute.
Kuala Lumpur City defeat ATK Mohun Bagan to create history
Kolkata: Fakrul Aiman and Romel Morales both scored in injury time to ensure Kuala Lumpur City FC become the first Malaysian side to secure a place in the Inter-Zone Final of the AFC Cup™ with a dramatic 3-1 win over India's ATK Mohun Bagan on Wednesday in Kolkata.
Captain Paulo Josue gave Kuala Lumpur a 60th minute lead and set up Fakrul to restore Kuala Lumpur’s advantage less than two minutes after Fardin Molla levelled on the 90th minute for the Indians. Morales then scored in the fifth minute of injury time to put the result beyond doubt.
The win takes Bojan Hodak’s side – making their first-ever appearance in the competition – into a meeting with Uzbekistan’s PFC Sogdiana on October 5 with the winners advancing to the AFC Cup 2022 Final on October 22.
Bakaev hails Sogdiana substitutes for making the difference
Jizzakh: PFC Sogdiana’s Ulugbek Bakaev revealed that second-half substitutions paved the way for the Uzbekistan side’s hard-fought 1-0 win over Hong Kong’s Eastern Long Lions in the AFC Cup™ 2022 Inter-Zone Semi-final on Tuesday.
Shakhruz Norkhonov’s last-gasp effort sent Sogdiana through to the Inter-Zone Final against either ATK Mohun Bagan of India or Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur City FC on October 5.
Al Riffa were always confident of derby victory, says Ashour
Muharraq: Al Riffa head coach Ali Ashour hailed his players' faith in their ability as key behind a thrilling 5-4 penalty shootout victory against neighbours East Riffa in the AFC Cup 2022™ West Zone Semi-final on Tuesday.
The domestic rivals played out a goalless draw in 90 minutes before goals from Ali Haram and Abdulla Shallal cancelled each other out in extra time as Al Riffa’s lead lasted just three minutes. Then in the penalties, goalkeeper Abdulkarim Fardan was his side’s hero, saving twice to send Al Riffa to the West Zone Final against Oman’s Al Seeb next month.
Disappointed but Motroc proud of East Riffa's effort
Muharraq: East Riffa's AFC Cup™ 2022 campaign may have come to an end following their defeat to Al Riffa in the West Zone Semi-final on Tuesday but head coach Florin Motroc only had praise for his players.
The derby came to life in the closing stages of extra-time as East Riffa hauled themselves back into the tie with Abdulla Shallal drawing them level in the 117th minute, after Abdullah Shallal had given Al Riffa the lead in the 114th.
Goalkeeper Abdulkarim Fardan proved to be the difference in the penalty shootout as his two saves saw Al Riffa winning 5-4 to set up a West Zone final against Oman's Al Seeb Club.
Losada confident of Eastern’s future despite heartbreaking exit
Jizzakh: Head coach Roberto Losada sees a bright future for Eastern Long Lions despite their 1-0 defeat to Uzbekistan’s PFC Sogdiana in the AFC Cup™ 2022 Inter-Zone Semi-final on Tuesday.
The Hong Kong club had gone into the tie with a well-crafted plan to stop Sogdiana, only for their best efforts to come undone almost at the death when the home side sealed victory through Shakhruz Norkhonov’s 85th minute strike.