Kuala Lumpur: The 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final is rapidly approaching as Vietnam’s Hanoi FC and 4.25 SC or DPR Korea aim to book their ticket to the Continental showpiece on November 2.
The two-legged match-up will be the third Inter-Zone Final since the competition changed to its regional format at the beginning of 2017, with the Central Asian champions coming out on top in each of the last two years.
As the champions of the East Asia and ASEAN Zones get set to face off for a place in the final, the-AFC.com looks back at the past two editions, where hard-fought contests have seen plenty of drama.
Ho Chi Minh City: Hanoi FC claimed the 2019 V.League 1 title on Thursday to hand themselves a major psychological boost ahead of next week’s AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final meeting with DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC.
With two games still to play, Vietnamese heavyweights Hanoi secured an unassailable lead at the top of the standings thanks to Nguyen Than Chung’s goal in a narrow 1-0 victory away at Song Lam Nghe An.
Team effort took us through, says 4.25's Kim Yu-song
Pyongyang: Two-goal hero Kim Yu-song paid credit to his teammates after 4.25 SC advanced to the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone final on Wednesday.
Kim struck in the 49th and 83rd minutes as the DPR Korea side won the second leg 2-0 at the Kim II Sung Stadium in Pyongyang to see off Bangladesh side Abahani Dhaka 5-4 on aggregate.
Kim had a profound impact on the match, having come on as a substitute for An Il-bom in the 41st minute, as he scored his seventh and eighth goals of this season's AFC Cup to steer 4.25 into their second successive Inter-Zone final.
ASEAN Domestic Wrap: DPMM, Shan United crowned champions
Kuala Lumpur: Brunei Darussalam side DPMM claimed their second Singapore Premier League title at the weekend, while Shan United secured the Myanmar National League championship as club football returned to the ASEAN region following the international break.
Elsewhere, Hanoi FC moved ever closer to the V.League 1 title and Chiangrai United moved to the summit of the Thai League. For that, and much more, here’s the-AFC.com’s round-up of the latest rounds of fixtures in Southeast Asia.
Oloya: We showed our best football against Altyn Asyr
Ashgabat: Hanoi FC midfielder Moses Oloya is overjoyed at his side’s qualification for the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final, declaring that the Vietnamese champions produced their best football in their successful second leg tie against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr on Tuesday.
With a 3-2 aggregate lead under their belts from the first match of the two-legged tie, Hanoi navigated a first-ever trip to Ashgabat’s Kopetdag Stadium to emerge with a 5-4 aggregate win and set up a meeting with DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC.
A brace from captain Nguyen Van Quyet proved crucial for Chu Dinh Nghiem’s side, who advanced despite two successful penalty kicks from Altyn Asyr skipper Serdar Geldiyev.
East Asia Domestic Wrap: Kashima blow Japan title race wide open
Kuala Lumpur: Kashima Antlers came out the victors after their top-of-the-table clash against leaders FC Tokyo turned the heat up in the J.League title hunt.
Meanwhile, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors gained a little breathing room at the top of K League 1 in Korea Republic, Beijing FC reduced the lead of front-runners Guangzhou Evergrande, and there was plenty of domestic football action in Hong Kong, Mongolia and Chinese Taipei.
Central Asian Domestic Wrap: Kyrgyz rivals draw, Afghan finalists confirmed
Bishkek: Neither side was able to deliver a knockout blow in the crucial meeting between the Kyrgyz Premier League’s big two, while the Afghan Premier League reached fever pitch with semi-final action.
Join the-AFC.com as we cast an eye over the domestic action throughout Central Asia.