The Inter-Zonal semifinal playoffs got off to an interesting start with the first legs of the two fixtures taking place this week. Altyn Asyr and 4.25 SC have notched important wins but are yet to be assured of a place in the final.
Here is what transpired this week:
Home United 0-2 4.25 SC (Pak Myong-song 62' An Il Bom 82')
Singapore's Home United were put to the sword by an effective 4.25 SC side on Monday in the first leg of their Inter-Zonal semifinal.
4.25 SC dominated the game right from the start but were unable to find an opening for large parts of the game. Despite the fact that they were laying away from home, 4.25 SC did effective pressing and only wasteful finishing and some last-ditch defending prevented them from going ahead in the first half.
But the North Korean side kept persisting and finally got their opener in the 62nd minute. Pak Myong-song went on a run down the left before cutting to his right and finding the top corner. Then, in the 82nd minute, An Il Bom made it 2-0 as he tapped home from Rim Chol-min’s square pass on a break.
4.25 SC will be hopeful of finishing off the Singaporeans when they meet in North Korea next week.
Bengaluru FC 2-3 Altyn Asyr (Bheke 63' Paartalu 88' - Orazsakhedov 11', 46' Annadurdyyev 25')
Turkmen champions Altyn Asyr stunned Bengaluru FC 3-2 away from home on Wednesday to gain a vital advantage.
The visitors started the game on the front foot and got the opener in the 11th minute. Altymyrat Annadurdyyev’s cross from the left was headed away by Bengaluru defender Nishu Kumar into the path of Selim Nurmuradov, who delivered a chipped cross for Vahyt Orazsakhedov who scored a simple header.
Orazsakhedov then found Annadurdyyev in the 25th minute down the left wing and the latter saw his shot let in by goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh who couldn't hold on to a shot from distance. Firther misery was heaped on Bengaluru when Orazsakhedov saw a low drive let in again by shoddy goalkeeping. But Bengaluru mounted a comeback and soon made it 3-1 through Rahul Bheke.
In the 88th minute, Erik Paartalu scored a header from close-range to make it 3-2 and keep Bengaluru in the tie ahead of the second leg.