'Dream a little longer': KL City stars react to AFC Cup heroics
Kuala Lumpur: Kuala Lumpur City FC created history on Wednesday when they booked their ticket to the AFC Cup™ 2022 final after defeating Uzbekistan’s PFC Sogdiana on penalties following a goalless draw to line up a date with Oman’s Al Seeb Club in the Malaysian capital on October 22.
The Inter-Zone final victory in Jizzakh continues a remarkable rise for a club that was playing second-tier football as recently as 2020 before going on to defeat domestic powerhouse Johor Darul Ta’zim to win their first Malaysia Cup for more than three decades last season and qualify for a maiden AFC Cup.
And they did not stop there, with KL City advancing from their group before overcoming Vietnam’s Viettel FC and Indonesia’s PSM Makassar to win the ASEAN Zone and then defeating India’s ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata in the Inter-Zone semi-finals.
As the dust now settles on the shootout success in Uzbekistan and yet another result that will go down in the club’s history, the-AFC.com looks at how The City Boys have reacted to their latest triumph.
AFC Cup™ 2022: Inter-Zone and West Zone Finals – Stats and Facts
Kuala Lumpur: The two finalists in the AFC Cup™ 2022 have been confirmed after Oman’s Al Seeb Club defeated Al Riffa of Bahrain in the West Zone final on Tuesday and Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur City FC overcame PFC Sogdiana of Uzbekistan on Wednesday.
The match-up means for the first time in the competition’s history, West Asia will face ASEAN in the showpiece event, while it’s only the second time a club from Southeast Asia has reached the grand finale.
As the sides begin their preparations for the continental showdown in Kuala Lumpur on October 22, the-AFC.com looks at some of the standout statistics following the midweek games.
Reaching final an unbelievable success for KL City, says Hodak
Jizzakh: Kuala Lumpur City FC head coach Bojan Hodak described his side’s victory over PFC Sogdiana to reach the AFC Cup™ 2022 final as an unbelievable success for the club and Malaysian football.
KL City completed an incredible run to the final on their continental debut, becoming only the second Malaysian side to reach an AFC Cup final after Johor Darul Ta’zim who won the title in 2015, but Hodak highlighted a key difference between KL City’s success and that of his former employers.
Jaber applauds cumulative work as Al Seeb close in on title
Muscat: Al Seeb Club’s historic progress to the AFC Cup™ 2022 final is a watershed moment, according to head coach Rasheed Jaber who paid tribute to his predecessors following the club’s 4-0 victory over Al Riffa in the West Zone final on Tuesday.
Jaber’s men became the first-ever Omani side to reach the final, and did so in style, putting Bahrain’s Al Riffa to the sword with an emphatic victory.
At a packed Seeb Sports Complex, the home side missed chances right, left and centre before they could finally open the scoring two minutes into the second half through Abdulaziz Al Muqbali’s tap-in.
When it rained, it poured for Al Seeb as substitutes Ahmed Al Siyabi and Cosmos Dauda got on the scoresheet either side of Salah Al Yahaei’s cool finish through the goalkeeper’s legs in what proved to be a one-sided second half.