The second preliminary round of AFC Champions League 2019 is done and dusted with and we are only one step from the group stage of the competition. And we have the AFC Cup 2019 running parallel as well.
The ASEAN clubs haven’t had the best of times in the tournament and only three sides remain to fight it out for a place in the group stage of the Champions League. However, for some of those who were knocked out of the preliminary stage of the competition, they have another opportunity to fight it out for continental glory in the AFC Cup 2019.
Two clubs each from Vietnam (Hanoi FC & Becamex Binh Duong), Philippines (Ceres–Negros & Kaya–Iloilo), Singapore (Home United & Tampines Rovers), Indonesia (Persija Jakarta & PSM Makassar) and Myanmar (Yangon United & Shan United) have qualified for the AFC Cup 2019.
One club each from Cambodia (Naga World) and Laos (Lao Toyota) are a part of the ASEAN zone groups as well.
Vietnam’s Hanoi FC have qualified for the playoff round of the AFC Champions League and if they manage to qualify for the group stage of the competition, they will not play in the AFC Cup.
The ASEAN clubs are divided into three groups (F, G & H) of four sides. While Group F consists of Hanoi, Tampines Rovers, Yangon and Naga World, Group G has Ceres-Negros, Becamex, Persija and Shan United and Group H has Home United, Kaya-Iloilo, Lao Toyota and PSM Makassar.
The first round of group stage matches are scheduled to be played on 26th and 27th of February.
The winner from each of the three groups will qualify for the Zonal Semifinals and the best runner-up of the three will join them as well. The winners from the two semifinals will play the Zonal Final and the winner will get the opportunity to play in the Inter-zone play-off final.
The winner of the Inter-zone play-off final will face the winner of West Asia Zonal final in the AFC Cup 2019 decider.