Paartalu ready for another 'exciting' Asian adventure
Thimphu: Bengaluru FC were a regular feature in the AFC Cup knockout rounds between 2015 and 2018 and, having missed out on the competition last year, are eyeing a return this time round ahead of their Preliminary Round 2 first leg against Bhutan’s Paro FC on Wednesday.
A key fixture in the side’s success since joining in 2017 has been Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu, who helped the club win their first Indian Super League title in 2018-19 and is aiming to hold onto that crown this year.
In the build-up to the away date in the Himalayas, the man affectionately known as 'Big E' among the Bengaluru fans spoke exclusively to the-AFC.com about the importance of the AFC Cup, coaching influences, a former roommate turned opponent and man buns.
Nestor: The AFC Cup is vital to the growth of the game in Cambodia
Svay Rieng: Coach Conor Nestor insisted that Svay Rieng's qualification for the 2020 AFC Cup on Wednesday will have a big impact, not only for the Cambodian champions but the country as a whole.
Svay Rieng's 3-0 win away at Laotian side Master7 FC completed a comprehensive 7-1 aggregate victory that concluded this week's ASEAN Zone play-offs and ensured Cambodia are represented for a fourth consecutive edition of the AFC Cup.
A result that is of particular significance for the Irishman at the helm of the club.
Kuala Lumpur: Ahead of the kick-off of the 2020 AFC Cup, the-AFC.com reflects on 10 years of success in Asia's most diverse club competition and offers the Continent's fans the opportunity to select the team they feel has performed the best.
The past decade has shown unprecedented growth and evolution of the AFC Cup. From 31 sides who took part at the 2010 edition to the 43 in the 2019 tournament and with the introduction of the innovative Zonal format in 2017 the AFC Cup has continued to entertain fans of the Continental game.
During the last 10 years, there have been some notable teams who have risen to the fore and we review them and their achievements. Select your favourite in the poll at the bottom of the article to decide who is the best of the decade!
Play-off - 2nd Leg: Master7 FC 0-3 Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC
Vientiane: Cambodia’s Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng SC booked their place in the 2020 AFC Cup group stage with a 3-0 win over Master7 FC of Laos in the second leg of their Play-off on Wednesday, advancing 7-1 on aggregate.
Two goals in the first half by Sam Oeun Pidor and Jean Marie Mbarga set the tone for Svay Rieng’s second leg victory as the C-League champions were hardly troubled at the National Stadium.
Svay Rieng will join Indonesia’s Bali United, Than Quang Ninh of Vietnam and the Philippines’ Ceres Negros FC in Group G, which starts on February 11.
Play-off - 2nd Leg: Yangon United FC 3-1 Indera SC
Yangon: Yangon United FC of Myanmar eased into the 2020 AFC Cup Group Stage with a 9-2 aggregate win over Brunei Darussalam’s Indera SC after securing a 3-1 second leg triumph in the play-off on Wednesday.
In possession of a handsome lead following last week’s first leg in Bandar Seri Begawan, Tin Maung Tun’s side never looked in any danger despite being level at 1-1 at half-time, before extending their aggregate lead with second half goals to Emmanuel Ikechukwu and Than Paing.
Yangon United will now join Ho Chi Minh City FC, Lao Toyota FC and Hougang United FC in Group F, which begins on February 11.
Preliminary Stage 1 - 2nd Leg: Paro FC 2-2 Defenders FC
Thimphu: Bhutan's Paro FC advanced into the next round of the 2020 AFC Cup on away goals following a 2-2 draw with Defenders FC of Sri Lanka in the second leg of their Preliminary Round 1 tie at the Changlimithang Stadium on Wednesday.
The two-leg tie ended 5-5 on aggregate with Paro progressing to Preliminary Round 2 of the South Asia Zone of the Qualifiers where they will take on Indian Super League winners Bengaluru FC in another two-legged contest on February 5 and 12.
Play-off - 2nd Leg: PSM Makassar 3-1 Lalenok United FC
Bogor: Indonesia's PSM Makassar stormed into the 2020 AFC Cup Group Stage after beating Lalenok United FC of Timor-Leste 3-1 in their second leg play-off tie on Wednesday, winning 7-2 on aggregate.
PSM will be making their second consecutive appearance in the tournament proper, where they have the Philippines' Kaya FC-ILOILO, Shan United of Myanmar and Singapore's Tampines Rovers FC for company in Group H.