AFC President congratulates AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal winners Home United
Kuala Lumpur: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Singapore’s Home United for clinching their inaugural AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal crown after defeating Philippines’ Ceres Negros 3-1 on aggregate over two legs after Wednesday’s ASEAN Zonal Final.
Shaikh Salman said: “On behalf of the AFC football family, I would like to congratulate Home United from Singapore for displaying immense quality and resilience to be crowned champions of the ASEAN Zone.
“Central Champions Altyn Asyr from Turkmenistan, JSW Bengaluru FC from India in the South Zone and DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC who won the East Zone, must also be praised for their consistency throughout the campaign.
“The 2018 season of the AFC Cup has already witnessed two new attendance records in the Group Stage, which is a testament to the improved format, one which provides our passionate fans with more excitement and captivating action.
“I am confident that the next phase will engage with more fans and produce more memorable moments as we look to crown the Inter-Zone and West Zone winners as well as the ultimate champions in October.”
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Philippines’ Ceres Negros captured the inaugural 2017 ASEAN Zonal crown after narrowly defeating Home United 3-2 on aggregate.
On Wednesday, however, the Protectors showcased their class with a 2-0 victory over the Filipinos, courtesy of second-half goals from Shakir Hamzah and Song Ui-young at the Jalan Besar Stadium, after both sides battled to a 1-1 draw at the Panaad Stadium last week.
Following their famous victory, Home United will now set their sights on next month’s Inter-Zone final but will first have to battle 4.25 SC in the two-leg Inter-Zone Semi-finals on August 21 and 28, 2018.
Meanwhile, JSW Bengaluru will be eyeing a place in their second consecutive Inter-Zone final when they face a formidable Altyn Asyr side in the other semi-final on August 22 and 29.