AFC Cup 2018: Preliminary qualifiers 1st leg: Bengaluru held, FC Ahal beat Dordoi FC

The first legs of the preliminary qualifiers of Asia's secondary club competition saw tight clashes this week...

AFC Cup 2018 kicked off this week with the first legs of the preliminary qualifiers getting underway. Four games took place with 2016 finalists Bengaluru FC seen in action among others. Lets take a look at what transpired in the tournament this week: 

1) WEST ZONE PLAYOFF 1st LEG: Hilal Al Quds Club 0-1 Al Suwaiq 

Oman's Al Suwaiq defeated Palestine's Hilal Al Quds Club 1-0 to land a decisive advantage in their West Zone playoff tie at the Arab American University Stadium in West Bank on Monday. Oman international Ali Al Busaidi notched the winner for Al Suwaiq in the 26th minute. 

The return leg will played in Muscat next week and Al Suwaiq are in pole position to advance to the next stage. 

2) SOUTH ZONE PLAYOFF 1st LEG: Saif Sporting Club Limited 0-1 TC Sports Club

Maldives' TC Sports Club notched a vital away win by defeating Bangladeshi outfit Saif Sporting Club 1-0 at the Bangabandhu National stadium in Dhaka in the first leg of their South Zone preliminary playoff on Tuesday. 

Anatolli Vlasichev's strike in the 26th minute gave TC a 1-0 lead at half-time and they held on to go into the second leg in Male with an away goal advantage. 

3) SOUTH ZONE PLAYOFF 1st LEG: Transport United 0-0 Bengaluru FC

Bhutan's Transport United held 2016 finalists Bengaluru FC to a goalless stalemate in the first leg of their preliminary playoff at the Changlimithang Stadium on Tuesday.

However, despite managing to keep out the second string side of the Blues, Transport United will be the underdogs going into the second leg in Bengaluru on January 30th. 

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4) CENTRAL ZONE PLAYOFF 1st LEG: Dordoi FC 1-3 FC Ahal

Turkmenistan's FC Ahal dismantled Kyrgyzstan's FC Dordoi 3-1 away from home to take control of their premilinary playoff tie at the Dordoi Sports Centre on Tuesday. 

Muhadov gave Ahal the lead early on before Kairat Zhyrgalbek Uulu equalised for Dordoi in the 18th minute. But Ahal surged ahead in the second half as Myrat Annayev struck a brace (75', 86') to make it 3-1. The return leg will be played in Ashgabat on January 30.