We lived up to expectations, says Khujand’s Lazarevic
Dushanbe: FC Khujand head coach Nikola Lazarevic praised his victorious players, saying they achieved what was expected of them by securing their place in the AFC Cup group stage with a 3-1 extra-time play-off win over Kyrgyz Republic’s PFC Neftchi on Wednesday.
Khujand had suffered a 1-0 first leg defeat in Jalal-Abad on February 19, but they levelled the tie with a 1-0 win after 90 minutes at Central Republican Stadium, before scoring two further goals in extra time.
It took more nearly 200 minutes of football for the club from Tajikistan to take the lead in the two-legged tie, but Dilshod Bozorov’s hat-trick proved decisive as Khujand returned to the group sage for the second successive season.
Play-off - 2nd Leg: FC Khujand 3-0 PFC Neftchi (AET, Khujand win 3-1 on aggregate)
Dushanbe: Tajikistan’s FC Khujand sealed a dramatic return to the AFC Cup group stage, sealing a 3-1 aggregate win after the second leg of their qualifying play-off against Kyrgyz Republic outfit PFC Neftchi ended 3-0 after extra-time.
Dilshod Bozorov was the hat-trick hero for Khujand, scoring the goal which erased Neftchi’s first leg lead in the 34th minute, before conjuring two more in the second half of extra-time after the aggregate score had been locked at 1-1 after 180 minutes of action.
The result means AFC Cup Group D will feature the same four teams as in last year’s tournament, with Khujand to join Altyn Asyr FC, FC Dordoi and fellow Tajik outfit FC Istiklol.
Play-off - 2nd Leg: JSW Bengaluru FC 3-2 Maziya S&R (Agg 4-4, Maziya win 4-3 on penalties)
Bangalore: Maziya S&R of the Maldives advanced to the 2020 AFC Cup group stage after defeating India's JSW Bengaluru FC, winning the Play-off 4-3 on penalties after the two-leg tie ended 4-4 on aggregate on Wednesday.
The second leg ended 3-2 in favour of Bengaluru, with extra-time needed after 90 minutes finished 2-1 in favour of the Indian side.
Maziya had also won the first leg 2-1 and were denied an outright win by a brilliant Sunil Chhetri free-kick in the 120th minute on Wednesday, with the Maldives side having taken the lead on aggregate through Cornelius Ezekiel in the 102nd minute. Away goals were not in play in extratime.
Maziya join India’s Chennai City FC, Maldives’ TC Sports Club and Bashundhara Kings of Bangladesh in Group E of the 2020 AFC Cup.
Kaya FC's Casas hails coaching staff after battling draw with Tampines
Manila: Kaya FC-Iloilo goalkeeper Louie Casas praised his team’s coaching staff after the Philippines Football League side held out to claim a goalless draw against Tampines Rovers in their 2020 AFC Cup meeting on Wednesday.
Casas made several saves to deny the Singaporean side to ensure both sides ended Matchday Two of the competition unbeaten and level on four points at the top of the Group H standings.
Group H - MD2: Kaya FC-Iloilo 0-0 Tampines Rovers FC
Manila: Kaya FC Iloilo held on to secure a point against Singapore’s Tampines Rovers on Wednesday as the teams shared a goalless draw in their 2020 AFC Cup Group H encounter at Manila’s Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The draw moves both sides on to four points from their opening two games and keeps them both a point clear of third placed PSM Makassar from Indonesia, who defeated Myanmar’s Shan United earlier in the day.
Vidakovic: Ceres Negros must improve before next match
Manila: Ceres Negros FC head coach Risto Vidakovic will look to make improvements over the next two weeks after seeing his side held to a 2-2 draw by Vietnam’s Than Quang Ninh at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Group G of the 2020 AFC Cup on Tuesday.
Nguyen Hai Huy’s goal 20 minutes from time earned the visitors a share of the points after OJ Porteria had given Ceres the lead eight minutes earlier in a see-saw game that had seen Jeremie Lynch’s opener for the Vietnamese cancelled out by Bienvenido Maranon’s penalty.