AFC Cup 2019 ASEAN Zone: The 6 big questions ahead of Match Day 6

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

As qualification for the knockout round goes down to the wire in the ASEAN Zone of AFC Cup 2019, FOX Sports Asia football editor Gabriel Tan looks at the six talking points ahead of Match Day 6.

Will Home United or Kaya FC-Iloilo finish second to stay in the hunt?

Home United and Kaya FC-Iloilo will meet at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday in a duel for second place in Group H.

Even a win for either might not be enough to see them advance to the zonal semi-finals as the best runners-up but, with the other two groups only in action a day later, they can least give themselves a glimmer of hope.

AFC Cup 2019: PSM Makassar 0-2 Home United (Hafiz Nor 55′)

Kaya did claim an emphatic 5-0 win in their previous meeting but Home are a much better side since talismanic attacking midfielder Song Ui-young returned from injury, and the Protectors will be optimistic in their chances.

Can PSM Makassar finish with a bang?

With top spot in Group H already secured, PSM Makassar can opt to rest some players in their trip to Lao Toyota.

However, with the Liga 1 campaign finally kicking off on May 15, and the zonal semi-finals set to take place next month, the Indonesian outfit can also gather momentum going into a hectic period.

AFC Cup 2019: PSM Makassar 3-2 Home United (Guy Junior 86′)

It would be tempting for coach Darije Kalezic to give the likes of Marc Klok and Wiljan Pluim a well-deserved rest, so it would be interesting to see how strong a side takes to the field on Tuesday.

Do Tampines Rovers have what it takes to hold off Hanoi FC?

They surpassed expectations by leading Group F with one match remaining, but Tampines Rovers know that defeat to Hanoi FC would see them be pipped to top spot.

They can take heart in the fact that they held Hanoi to a 1-1 draw earlier in the campaign, while the V.League 1 giants are coming into the game off a shocking 4-1 loss to Thanh Hoa.

AFC Cup 2019: Tampines Rovers 4-3 Yangon United (Irwan Shah 90+1′)

The Stags will however be without talismanic striker Khairul Amri, who they have curiously allowed to join Malaysia’s FELDA United, meaning the likes of Jordan Webb and Ryutaro Megumi will have to shoulder the goal-scoring burden.

Is 2019 set to be one of disappointment for Yangon United?

Having done well to reach the zonal semi-finals last term, Yangon United’s AFC Cup campaign this season will end meekly although they can at least finish with a win over Nagaworld.

One of Myanmar football’s traditional powerhouses, they currently find themselves in third place in the Myanmar National League following a 2-1 loss to Shan United on Saturday.

AFC Cup 2019: Tampines Rovers 2-2 Yangon United (Mg Mg Lwin 71′)

There is still plenty of quality in the Yangon squad but, following a less-than-convincing start to the year, they need to find some form fast if 2019 is to be successful.

Are Ceres-Negros on the brink of perfection?

Having been the dominant force in the ASEAN Zone, Ceres-Negros will be looking to make it six wins in a row in Group G against second-placed Becamex Binh Duong.

The closest any side came to doing it was in 2017 when fellow Philippine outfit Global FC finished the group stage with a 15-point haul.

AFC Cup 2019: Shan United 0-1 Ceres Negros FC (Bienvenido Maranon 38′)

Nonetheless, with Binh Duong also gunning for qualification as the best runners-up, Ceres will need to be at their best.

Can Shan United beat Persija Jakarta to avoid pointless haul?

After five straight losses, Shan United are the only side in the ASEAN Zone yet to pick up a single point.

They will be looking to avoid the ignominy of ending the campaign with zero points, although it will not be easy even against a Persija Jakarta side that has failed to fire this year.

AFC Cup 2019: Shan United 1-0 Persija Jakarta – Reo Nakamura (14′)

Maycon Calijuri and Hedipo Gustavo have provided some bright sparks for Shan, but they will need more support from their team-mates if they are to get something out of Wednesday’s game.