Gallifuoco proud to be part of Kuala Lumpur City journey
Kuala Lumpur: In a little over a year and a half since Giancarlo Gallifuoco joined Kuala Lumpur City FC, the Australian defender has been part of the club's most successful period since the turn of the millennium as the side from the Malaysian capital have shone both domestically and on the continent.
The centre-back capped his inaugural season in the Southeast Asian country by helping KL City win their first Malaysia Cup since 1989, beating domestic powerhouse Johor Darul Ta'zim in the final, but that was only the start of the journey as the team's ascendancy continued in their debut AFC Cup™ campaign.
Having advanced from the group stage at the first time of asking, KL City defeated Vietnam's Viettel FC on penalties in the ASEAN Zonal semi-finals and then were crowned ASEAN Zonal champions following a resounding 5-2 victory over Indonesia's PSM Makassar to book an Inter-Zone semi-final date with India's ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata on Wednesday.
With the City Boys now just two games away from the AFC Cup 2022 final, the-AFC.com caught up with Gallifuoco to discuss why he chose Kuala Lumpur, his side's incredible record in cup competitions, teammates past and present, and much more.
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Cup™ 2022 Inter-Zone Semi-finals are set to be enticing affairs with Uzbekistan’s PFC Sogdiana to play Eastern Long Lions of Hong Kong while India’s ATK Mohun Bagan and Kuala Lumpur City FC of Malaysia will lock horns.
Ahead of the semi-finals, the-AFC.com invites you - the fans - to test your knowledge on the AFC Cup Inter-Zone.
Kozubaev aiming high with Eastern as Inter-Zone semi-final looms
Jizzakh: Eastern Long Lions defender Tamirlan Kozubaev has revealed that it was a new challenge with an ambitious club that persuaded him to swap Central Asia for East Asia when the Kyrgyz Republic international joined the Hong Kong side ahead of their AFC Cup™ 2022 campaign.
The much-travelled centre-back, who was most recently in Kazakhstan but has also played his club football in Russia, Serbia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Indonesia and his homeland, helped Eastern win both of their group stage games in June to advance to the AFC Cup knockout rounds for the first time.
Riffa: Ahead of arguably the most important domestic derby in their history, Riffa SC have one eye on the AFC Cup™ 2022 title, but first all focus has to be on overcoming neighbours East Riffa in the West Zone Semi-final, according to club captain Komail Al Aswad.
The homegrown hero spent his entire career at Riffa and has been the standout performer in a thrilling continental campaign for the Bahraini side, who dream of following on the path of compatriots Muharraq to keep the AFC Cup trophy in the island nation for the second year running.
Seeb: Less than a month after completing a historic domestic treble, Al Seeb Club turn their attention to the continental front, setting their eyes on bringing home Oman’s first-ever AFC Cup™ title, according to club captain Eid Al Farsi.
Having won their second consecutive Omani Premier League title earlier this year, Al Seeb added the Sultan Cup before completing the set of silverware in mid-August, defeating Al Nahda 2-0 in the Omani Super Cup.
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Cup™ 2022 West Zone Semi-finals are set to enticing affairs with Kuwait’s Al Arabi to play Al Seeb of Oman while Bahraini clubs Al Riffa and East Riffa will square off in a derby.
The AFC Cup West 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.
Dubai: With the AFC Cup™ 2022 West Zone Semi-finals to take place on September 5 and 6, the-AFC.com takes a look at four classic matches that took place at this stage of previous editions.
The Zonal format was introduced five years ago, and some exciting encounters have taken place since with the exception of 2020 when the competition was cancelled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ahead of the Riffa Derby between East Riffa and Riffa Club and the Al Arabi SC vs Al Seeb tie, we take a look back at one game that stood out in each campaign.