Dhaka: Abahani Limited Dhaka's gameplan for their 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semi-final against 4.25 is simple - not allow the DPR Korea side to play their brand of football.
The two teams go head-to-head in the first leg at Dhaka's Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday with head coach Mario Lemos saying six-time Bangladesh Premier League champions Abahani determined to continue their fairy-tale run in the AFC Cup.
It is the first time a club from Bangladesh has progressed to the AFC Cup's Inter-Zone Semi-finals but Lemos said they are not yet satisfied.
Inter-Zone Semi-Final 1st Leg - Preview: Hanoi FC vs Altyn Asyr FC
Hanoi: Hanoi FC aim to become the first Vietnamese side to reach the AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final when they host last year's runners-up Altyn Asyr of Turkmenistan in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final on Tuesday.
A first time meeting for these champions of the ASEAN and Central Zones, with Hanoi FC last in the knockout stages of the tournament in 2014 while Altyn Asyr lost out to Air Force Club of Iraq in the 2018 final.
The last time the sides from Southeast Asia and Central Asia met in the Inter-Zone semi-finals was the 2017 edition, when FC Istiklol of Tajikistan comprehensively defeated Filipino club Ceres Negros 5-1 on aggregate.
Hanoi: Altyn Asyr captain Serdar Geldiyev has set his sights on lifting the 2019 AFC Cup after the Turkmen side made it all the way to the final last year only to suffer defeat at the hands of Iraq’s Air Force Club.
For the second successive campaign, Altyn Asyr were crowned Central Asian Zonal Champions after again pipping Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol in their final Group D game.
The Ashgabat team are next tasked with Hanoi FC in the Inter-Zone Semi-finals with the first leg against the ASEAN Zonal Champions taking place in the Vietnamese capital on Tuesday.
Hanoi: Pham Duc Huy has admitted that Hanoi FC want to make history for Vietnamese football as they prepare to take on Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr in the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
Having overcome domestic rivals Becamex Binh Duong to be crowned ASEAN Zonal Champions, Hanoi have now produced the best-ever performance by a Vietnamese side in the AFC Cup.
But while midfielder Duc Huy admits he is satisfied with his side’s showing to date, the objective remains to go even deeper into the tournament and continue the upward trajectory than has been seen in the country over the past two years.
Kuala Lumpur: As the 2019 AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semi-finals draw ever closer, the-AFC.come looks at some of the key stats and facts involving the four teams involved.
The clashes see ASEAN kings Hanoi FC of Vietnam take on Central Zonal champions Altyn Asyr of Turkmenistan and South Zonal champions Abahani Limited Dhaka go up against their East Zone counterparts 4.25 SC of DPR Korea over two legs.
The reward for the winners is a place in the Inter-Zone Final, meaning the stakes are high ahead of the first legs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Kuala Lumpur: There are just five days to go until the 2019 AFC Cup returns with the two-legged Inter-Zone semi-finals, and the sides now just four matches away from November’s final.
The games see Vietnam’s Hanoi FC up against Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr and Abahani Limited Dhaka of Bangladesh face DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC as the Zonal champions from the ASEAN, Central, South and East square off.
With this Inter-Zone format only in its third year since the AFC Cup was remodelled, the-AFC.com looks back at the four previous match-ups from this stage of the Continental competition.