Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: South Zone champions JSW Bengaluru FC were drawn to face Turkmenistan side Altyn Asyr FK in the 2018 AFC Cup Inter-Zone semifinals, at the AFC club competitions draw, held in Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday.
While the Sree Kanteerava Stadium is set to host the Turkmenistan side on August 22nd, the reverse leg of the tie will be played at the Sport Toplumy Stadium, in Balkanabat, on August 29th.
Having qualified for the competition as the Turkmenistan Yokary Liga champions in 2017, Altyn Asyr made their way to the Inter-Zone semifinals with a thrilling 3-2 last round win over 2017 finalists FC Istiklol from Tajikistan, who incidentally got better off the Blues in the inter-zone final in the last edition. Currently fourth in the Yokary Liga with four games in hand, Altyn Asyr will be a strong opponent for Bengaluru who will be led by a new coach after the club announced Roca’s departure last week.
Should the Blues get past the Turkmenistan side, they will be up against one of DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC and the ASEAN Zone tie winner between Singapore’s Home United or Philippines’ Ceres Negros, an identical clash from the last edition.
Earlier club CTO Mandar Tamhane was presented with the South Zone Champions trophy by AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John having topped Group-E for the second successive season. Bengaluru qualified for the knockout rounds of the tournament for a record fourth consecutive season after toppling Maldives’ New Radiant SC to the summit of Group E.