AFC Cup 2018: Group Stage Matchday One Preview: West Zone & ASEAN Zone

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Asia's secondary club competition is all set to start in the ASEAN and the West zones..

The AFC Cup 2018 is all set to start with the West Zone and ASEAN zone matches getting underway. Here is a look at what awaits us this week: 


GROUP A (WEST):


Air Force Club v Al Wahda

Air Force Club (IRQ) v Al Jazeera (JOR): 

Defending champions Air Force Club of Iraq are up against Jordan's Al Jazeera in their Group A opener. The Iraqi side have won the tournament twice in a row now and will be a tough proposition for the Jordanian side in their return to the competition.  

Venue: Saoud bin Abdulrahman Stadium, Al Wakrah
Kick-off: February 12, 18:00 (UTC+3)

Malkiya (BHR) v Al Suwaiq (OMA):

The second match in the group will see Bahraini side Malkiya welcome Oman's Al Suwaiq. Malkiya are making their debut in the tournament while the visitors have appeared in the competition four times. Malkiya will be the underdogs in this fixture. 

Venue:  Khalifa Sports City Stadium, Isa Town
Kick-off: February 12, 18:15 (UTC+3)


GROUP B (WEST)


Al Zawra'a celebrate

Al Ahed (LIB) v Al Zawraa (IRQ):

In the first game in Group B, Lebanese champions Al Ahed are up against Iraq's Al Zawraa. Interestingly, both sides were knocked out by eventual champions Air Force Club in the previous edition. A strong start to this year's edition will be paramount to either side. 

Venue: Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut
Kick-off: February 12, 15:00 (UTC+2)

Al Jaish (SYR) v Manama (BHR):

Syria's Al Jaish hosts Bahrain's Manama in the other game in Group B. The Syrian champions exited the tournament in the group stages last time out and will be looking to start on the right note this time around against debutants Manama. 

Venue: Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa
Kick-off: February 12, 18:30 (UTC+3)


GROUP C (WEST):


Al Wahda

Al Faisaly (JOR) v Al Wahda (SYR): 

Jordan's Al Faisaly host Syria's Al Wahda in the opening game in Group C. The two-time winners from Jordan are making their first appearance since 2016 while Al Wahda finished as the runners-up last year. It should make for a tight clash on Tuesday. 

Venue: Amman International Stadium, Amman
Kick-off: February 13, 19:00 (UTC+2)

Dhofar (OMA) v Al Ansar (LIB):

Omani League champions Dhofar are set to face Lebanese FA Cup winners Al Ansar in their group opener. What is interesting is that both sides are aiming to progress from the group stage for the first time ever. A good start on Tuesday just might help as they aim to progress further. 

Venue: Al Saada Stadium, Salalah​
Kick-off: February 13, 19:30 (UTC+4)

 


GROUP F (ASEAN): 


Ceres Negros celebrate

Shan United (MYA) v Home United (SIN): 

Myanmar's Shan United will be making their continental bow when they host Singapore's Home United on Tuesday. The Myanmar champions will have their task cut out against Home United who have plenty of experience at this level, having reached the ASEAN Zonal final in 2017. 

Venue: Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon
Kick-off: February 13, 16:00 (UTC+6:30)

Ceres Negros (PHI) v Boeungket Angkor (CAM): 

Philippines' Ceres Negros will open their AFC Cup campaign with a clash against Cambodia Boeungket Angkor on Tuesday. Ceres are seasoned campaigners in the tournament and reached the Inter-Zonal semifinals last season. They will be looking to start with a win against the Cambodian outfit. 

Venue: Pana’ad Park and Stadium, Bacolod City
Kick-off: February 13, 19:30 (UTC+8) 


GROUP G (ASEAN): 


GLobal FC

FLC Thanh Hoa (VIE) v Global FC (PHI): 

Philippines' Global FC travel to Vietnam to take on FLC Thanh Hoa who are making their AFC Cup debut. Global reached the Inter-Zonal semifinals last year and will be looking to start on the right note against their inexperienced opponents. 

Venue: My Dinh Stadium (Hanoi)
Kick-off: February 10, 16:30 (UTC+7)

Bali United (IDN) v Yangon United (MYA):

Indonesia's Bali United will be looking forward to a momentuous occasion as they host their first ever AFC Cup game when Myanmar's Yangon United come visiting. Yangon have been a regular participant in the competition and will start as favourites for this tie. 

Venue: Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium, Gianyar
Kick-off: February 13, 15:30 (UTC+8) 


GROUP H (ASEAN):


Johor Darul Ta'zim

Tampines Rovers (SIN) v Song Lam Nghe An (VIE): 

Singapore’s Tampines Rovers face Vietnam’s Song Lam Nghe An are all set to renew hostilities in their Group H opener on Saturday. Both teams had met back in 2012 which was the Vietnamese side's last continental appearance. it will be interesting to see how this fixture pans out. 

Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
Kick-off: February 10, 19:30 (UTC+8)

Johor Darul Ta’zim (MAS) v Persija Jakarta (IDN): 

Article continues below

2015 AFC Cup winners Johor Darul Ta'zim open their campaign this season at home against Persija Jakarta from Indonesia. The visitors are making their debut in the competition and as such will be up against it in the opener against a seasoned side in JDT. 

Venue: Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium, Johor Bahru
Kick-off: February 14, 20:45 (UTC+8)

 

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