AFC Cup wrap: FC Istiklol march on

istiklol AFC Cup

An injury time goal from Dilshod Vasiev saw former AFC Cup finalists FC Istiklol beat Altyn Asyr 1-0 to finish top of Group D.

The victory means the Tajkistan club finish the group stage as Central Asian Zonal Champions, and earns them a place in next week’s draw for the next phase of the competition.

The two teams headed into the Group D decider on 13 points each, although Istiklol held a narrow advantage thanks to their 1-1 draw away from home in the previous fixture between the two sides.

The game seemed destined for a draw until Vasiev finally found an opening in second-half injury time to send his side through to the next phase.

The day’s other Group D game between FC Alay and Dordoi FC was a far more exciting affair despite both teams having little to play for.

An end-to-end clash between the two Krygyz sides finally ended in a 5-4 victory for FC Alay, after Iliaz Alimov headed home a dramatic winner in injury time.

In the final match of Group I, DPR Korea’s Kigwancha SC signed off with a 7-0 thrashing of Erchim FC.

Kigwancha’s compatriots April 25 had already secured top spot and a place in the Inter-Zone Play-off Semi-finals following their 5-0 victory over Erchim, but that didn’t stop the goals from flowing in Wednesday’s Group I finale.