AFC Cup group-stage draw: Tough start for holders

Reigning AFC Cup champions Air Force Club from Iraq have been handed a tough start to their title defence following the official draw for the competition’s 2017 tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

With the revamped competition now split into zones, Air Force Club – who last month defeated India’s JSW Bengaluru FC to claim their first continental crown – are in Group B, where they will take on Bahrain’s Al Hidd, Safa SC from Lebanon and and Syrian outfit Al Wahda.

Meanwhile, defeated finalists Bengaluru are in the South Zone, Group E and will take on Maldives side Maziya S&R, Abhani Limited Dhaka from Bangladesh and a play-off winner in the Group Stage should they fail to qualify for the AFC Champions League through the Preliminary and Play-off stages.

Here is the full run down of the three zones and the groups….

AFC Cup 2017 Preliminary Stage & Play-off Schedule

WEST

Play-off Stage
PO 3.1 (January 31, 2017) Shabab Al Khalil (PLE) v Al Suwaiq (OMA)

PO 3.2 (February 7, 2017) Al Suwaiq (OMA) v Shabab Al Khalil (PLE)

ASEAN

Play-off Stage
PO 2.1 (January 30, 2017) Phnom Penh Crown (CAM) v Home United (SIN)

PO 2.2 (February 7, 2017) Home United (SIN) v Phnom Penh Crown (CAM)

PO 3.1 (January 31, 2017) Boeungket Angkor (CAM) v Lao Toyota (LAO)

PO 3.2 (February 7, 2017) Lao Toyota (LAO) v Boeungket Angkor (CAM)

CENTRAL

Preliminary Stage
PS 1.1 (January 31, 2017) Shaheen Asmayee (AFG) v FC Hosilot (TJK)

PS 1.2 (February 7, 2017) FC Hosilot (TJK) v Shaheen Asmayee (AFG)

PS 2.1 (January 31, 2017) Dordoi FC (KGZ) v Balkan FC (TKM)

PS 2.2 (February 7, 2017) Balkan FC (TKM) v Dordoi FC (KGZ)

Play-off Stage
PO 1.1 (February 21, 2017) Winner PS 2 v Winner PS 1

PO 1.2 (February 28, 2017) Winner PS 1 v Winner PS 2

SOUTH

Preliminary Stage
PS 1.1 (January 31, 2017) Colombo FC (SRI) v Mohun Bagan (IND)

PS 1.2 (February 7, 2017) Mohun Bagan (IND) v Colombo FC (SRI)

PS 2.1 (January 31, 2017) Thimphu City (BHU) v Club Valencia (MDV)

PS 2.2 (February 7, 2017) Club Valencia (MDV) v Thimphu City (BHU)

Play-off Stage
PO 1.1 (February 21, 2017) Winner PS 2 v Winner PS 1

PO 1.2 (February 28, 2017) Winner PS 1 v Winner PS 2

EAST

Preliminary Stage
PS 1.1 (January 31, 2017) Erchim FC (MNG) v Tatung FC (TPE)

PS 1.2 (February 7, 2017) Tatung FC (TPE) v Erchim FC (MNG)

Play-off Stage
PO 1.1 (February 21, 2017) Winner PS 2 v Kigwancha SC (PRK)

PO 1.2 (February 28, 2017) Kigwancha SC (PRK) v Winner PS 2

Find out how the 2017 edition of the AFC Cup will work right here.

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