Preview - Group A: Al Ansar (LBN) v Kuwait SC (KUW)
Muscat: Three-time winners Kuwait SC are eager for a winning start to their AFC Cup™ 2022 Group A campaign when they take on Lebanon’s Al Ansar at Al Seeb Sports Stadium on Wednesday.
The Kuwait City based side reached the West Zonal final last time around, before losing to eventual champions Muharraq Club 2-0, but they are determined to go all the way this time, according to defender Sami Al Sanea.
Preview - Group A: Al Seeb Club (OMA) v Jableh (SYR)
Muscat: AFC Cup™ 2022 Group A hosts Al Seeb Club are looking to carry their Oman Pro League title-winning form into the continental front as they look to start their campaign against fellow debutants Jableh SC of Syria on Wednesday.
Having never won the domestic league, Al Seeb made it back-to-back titles last week, before turning their attention to the AFC Cup in which their debut was delayed by a year, having been forced to withdraw from the 2021 edition due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in place in Oman at the time.
Joining the pair in Group A are three-time champions Kuwait SC and Lebanese powerhouse Al Ansar.
Preview - Group D: Bashundhara Kings (BAN) v Maziya Sports & Recreation (MDV)
Kolkata: Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh and Maldives' Maziya Sports & Recreation will be aiming to carry their domestic form into their AFC Cup™ 2022 Group D clash on Wednesday.
Both are top of the standings in their respective leagues and a win at Kolkata's Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium will give them an early advantage in securing the only available berth into the AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-finals.
Gokulam’s Benny excited for AFC Cup™ 2022 opportunity
Kolkata:After scoring the crucial goal that helped Gokulam Kerala retain their I-League title just a few days ago, midfielder Emil Benny can't wait for his side's maiden AFC Cup™ campaign to get underway.
Having come through the club's youth system, the 21-year-old was named the I-League's Emerging Player of the Season in 2020-21 and is considered by many as being among the most promising prospects in India.
With a showdown against Indian rivals ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata on Wednesday to kick off Gokulam's AFC Cup 2022 journey, Benny is now aiming to impress on the continent.
AFC Cup™ displays key for Socceroos World Cup place, says Kuwait SC’s McGowan
Kuwait: As Kuwait SC prepare to kick-off their AFC Cup™ 2022 campaign in pursuit of a record fourth title, Australian defender Ryan McGowan knows his own performances in the group stage carry an extra weight ahead of an important month for the Socceroos.
McGowan, 32, joined the three-time continental champions from Sydney FC in the summer of 2021 and has since established himself as the lynchpin of the side that went on to win the domestic Kuwait Premier League and Emir Cup double, but there remains one more mountain to climb for the Kuwait City based side under new coach Mohammed Abdullah, who has replaced Tunisian Nabil Maaloul at the helm.
Nejmeh’s Siblini eyes return to AFC Cup™ glory days
Beirut: Lebanon’s Nejmeh SC return to the AFC Cup™ after a three-year absence with dreams of replicating, if not bettering, the successes of their mid-2000s side that finished runners-up in 2005 and reached back-to-back semi-finals in 2006 and 2007.
The Beirut-based side travel to Bahrain to take part in Group C alongside Syria’s Tishreen, Palestine’s Hilal Alquds and hosts East Riffa. Striker Mahmoud Siblini spoke to the-AFC.com ahead of the campaign.
Kuala Lumpur: Over the years, the AFC Cup™ has introduced some of the finest talents to the forefront of Asian football, and as we approach the 2022 edition, clubs from the West Zone aiming to go far in the campaign will look for their standout players to show their qualities.
From home-grown players to big money signings to unearthed gems recruited from obscure leagues, the-AFC.com profiles five players who could make the difference to their sides across the three West Zone groups.
Kuala Lumpur:The stage is set for the South Zone of the AFC Cup™ 2022 with Group D to kick off in Kolkata on May 18 as Indian sides ATK Mohun Bagan and Gokulam Kerala as well as Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings and Maziya S&R of the Maldives get set to battle it out for a place in the Inter-Zone semi-finals.
Since the introduction of the zonal format five years ago, a number of stars from the region have shone on the continental stage, none more so than Indian icon Sunil Chhetri, who inspired Karnataka side Bengaluru FC to the knockout rounds in 2017 and 2018.
Elsewhere, Sohel Rana has been among the Bangladeshi players to produce the goods, while the evergreen Ali Ashfaq is always the standout name from a Maldivian perspective.
Ahead of the South Zone beginning in just a few days’ time, the-AFC.com has selected some players to keep an eye out for in the 2022 edition.