#AFCCup2022 - Inter-Zone S-finals: Players to Watch
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Cup™ 2022 returns to action this week with the hotly anticipated Inter-Zone Semi-finals taking place in the coming days.
On Tuesday, Central Zone winners PFC Sogdiana of Uzbekistan will host East Zone champions Eastern Long Lions of Hong Kong before the winners of the South Zone, India’s ATK Mohun Bagan, take on recently crowned ASEAN Zonal champions Kuala Lumpur City FC of Malaysia a day later.
Ahead of the upcoming ties, the-AFC.com picks out two players from each team who could be key in their sides' bids to continue their marches towards the AFC Cup final.
Jizzakh: Head coach Ulugbek Bakaev believes PFC Sogdiana are in the right frame of mind ahead of their AFC Cup™ 2022 Inter-Zone Semi-final against Hong Kong’s Eastern Long Lions on Tuesday.
Sogdiana recently defeated Qizilqum FC 4-3 on penalties in the Uzbekistan Cup and are very much in the race for the Uzbekistan Super League title and Bakaev is confident his charges can continue their rich vein of form when they host Eastern Long Lions at the Sogdiana Stadium.
Kozubaev aiming high with Eastern as Inter-Zone semi-final looms
Jizzakh: Eastern Long Lions defender Tamirlan Kozubaev has revealed that it was a new challenge with an ambitious club that persuaded him to swap Central Asia for East Asia when the Kyrgyz Republic international joined the Hong Kong side ahead of their AFC Cup™ 2022 campaign.
The much-travelled centre-back, who was most recently in Kazakhstan but has also played his club football in Russia, Serbia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Indonesia and his homeland, helped Eastern win both of their group stage games in June to advance to the AFC Cup knockout rounds for the first time.
Our aim is to lift the trophy, says ATKMB’s Colaco
Kolkata: ATK Mohun Bagan’s Liston Colaco has made his side’s ambitions clear ahead of the AFC Cup™ 2022 Inter-Zone semi-final against Kuala Lumpur City FC of Malaysia as they aim to go all the way in the tournament.
Having lost their opening group stage match, the Kolkata giants bounced back in style to record comprehensive wins in their following two games to win the AFC Cup South Zone for a second successive season.
Gallifuoco proud to be part of Kuala Lumpur City journey
Kuala Lumpur: In a little over a year and a half since Giancarlo Gallifuoco joined Kuala Lumpur City FC, the Australian defender has been part of the club's most successful period since the turn of the millennium as the side from the Malaysian capital have shone both domestically and on the continent.
The centre-back capped his inaugural season in the Southeast Asian country by helping KL City win their first Malaysia Cup since 1989, beating domestic powerhouse Johor Darul Ta'zim in the final, but that was only the start of the journey as the team's ascendancy continued in their debut AFC Cup™ campaign.
Having advanced from the group stage at the first time of asking, KL City defeated Vietnam's Viettel FC on penalties in the ASEAN Zonal semi-finals and then were crowned ASEAN Zonal champions following a resounding 5-2 victory over Indonesia's PSM Makassar to book an Inter-Zone semi-final date with India's ATK Mohun Bagan in Kolkata on Wednesday.
With the City Boys now just two games away from the AFC Cup 2022 final, the-AFC.com caught up with Gallifuoco to discuss why he chose Kuala Lumpur, his side's incredible record in cup competitions, teammates past and present, and much more.
Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Cup™ 2022 Inter-Zone Semi-finals are set to be enticing affairs with Uzbekistan’s PFC Sogdiana to play Eastern Long Lions of Hong Kong while India’s ATK Mohun Bagan and Kuala Lumpur City FC of Malaysia will lock horns.
Ahead of the semi-finals, the-AFC.com invites you - the fans - to test your knowledge on the AFC Cup Inter-Zone.