2015 AFC Cup
|Dates||9 February – 31 October 2015|
|Teams||41 (from 23 associations)|
|Champions||Johor Darul Ta'zim (1st title)|
|Goals scored||339 (2.78 per match)|
|Attendance||496,305 (4,068 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Daniel McBreen|
(8 goals each)
|Best player(s)||Mohd Safiq Rahim|
Association team allocationEdit
The AFC Competitions Committee proposed a revamp of the AFC club competitions on 25 January 2014, which was ratified by the AFC Executive Committee on 16 April 2014. The member associations are ranked based on their national team's and clubs' performance over the last four years in AFC competitions, with the allocation of slots for the 2015 and 2016 editions of the AFC club competitions determined by the 2014 rankings:
- The top 24 member associations (MAs) as per the AFC rankings which do not receive direct slots in the AFC Champions League are eligible to participate in the AFC Cup group stage (including losers of the AFC Champions League qualifying play-off).
- The MAs ranked 25 to 32 are eligible to participate in the AFC Cup group stage, and the associations ranked 33 to 47 are eligible to participate in the AFC Cup qualifying play-off (including those of "emerging countries" which participated in the AFC President's Cup, whose last edition was in 2014).
|Participation for 2015 AFC Cup|
- Iraq were given special entry to the 2015 AFC Cup, since they were not allowed to participate in the 2015 AFC Champions League as none of their teams passed the club licensing requirements for 2015.
- Lebanon and Syria were not allowed to participate in the 2015 AFC Champions League as none of their teams passed the club licensing requirements for 2015, so their champions directly entered the AFC Cup group stage instead of playing in the AFC Champions League qualifying play-off.
- Afghanistan were allocated one group stage slot and one play-off slot for the 2015 and 2016 AFC Cup, but did not submit an entry for the 2015 AFC Cup.
- Turkmenistan were allocated one group stage slot and one play-off slot for the 2015 and 2016 AFC Cup, but both teams entered the qualifying play-off for the 2015 AFC Cup due to Iraq's participation.
- Kyrgyzstan and Yemen were allocated one play-off slot for the 2015 AFC Cup due to participation in the 2014 AFC Cup.
- Bangladesh and Nepal were allocated one play-off slot for the 2015 AFC Cup due to results in the 2014 AFC President's Cup.
- Myanmar were allocated one group stage slot and one play-off slot for the 2015 and 2016 AFC Cup, but both teams entered the group stage for the 2015 AFC Cup due to North Korea's withdrawal.
- Malaysia, India and Singapore were allocated one group stage slot and one play-off slot for the 2015 and 2016 AFC Cup, but both teams entered the group stage for the 2015 AFC Cup due to lack of play-off teams in the East Zone.
- North Korea were allocated one group stage slot and one play-off slot for the 2015 and 2016 AFC Cup, but withdrew from the 2015 AFC Cup.
- Laos were allocated one group stage slot and one play-off slot for the 2015 and 2016 AFC Cup, but only one team entered the 2015 AFC Cup.
The following 41 teams from 23 associations entered the competition.
Teams in italics played in the 2015 AFC Champions League qualifying play-off, but failed to advance to the AFC Champions League group stage (had they advanced to the AFC Champions League group stage, they would have been replaced by another team from the same association).
- Bahrain (BHR): Al-Hidd entered the AFC Cup instead of East Riffa, the 2014 Bahraini King's Cup winners.
- India (IND): East Bengal entered the AFC Cup instead of Churchill Brothers, the 2013–14 Indian Federation Cup winners.
- Indonesia (IDN): Since the Piala Indonesia had to be cancelled due to tightness of schedule caused by the parliamentary and presidential elections, the Indonesia Super League runners-up were chosen to represent Indonesia in the AFC Cup.
- Iraq (IRQ): Due to the worsening war situation and increased unrest in the country, the Iraq Football Association cancelled the remainder of the 2013–14 Iraqi football season on 18 June 2014. The standings at the point of cancellation were declared as final, meaning Al-Shorta and Erbil finished as the 2013–14 Iraqi Premier League champions and runners-up respectively.
- Jordan (JOR): Al-Jazeera entered the AFC Cup instead of Al-Faisaly, the 2013–14 Jordan League runners-up.
- Philippines (PHI): The Philippine Football Federation confirmed that the UFL Division 1 champions (entering group stage) and the UFL FA League Cup winners (entering play-off) were chosen to represent the Philippines in the AFC Cup.
|Stage||Round||Draw date||First leg||Second leg|
|Preliminary stage||Preliminary round||No draw||9–10 February 2015|
|Play-off stage||Play-off round||17 February 2015|
|Group stage||Matchday 1||11 December 2014||24–25 February 2015|
|Matchday 2||10–11 March 2015|
|Matchday 3||17–18 March 2015|
|Matchday 4||14–15 April 2015|
|Matchday 5||28–29 April 2015|
|Matchday 6||12–13 May 2015|
|Knockout stage||Round of 16||26–27 May 2015|
|Quarter-finals||18 June 2015||25–26 August 2015||15–16 September 2015|
|Semi-finals||29–30 September 2015||20–21 October 2015|
|Final||31 October 2015|
The bracket for the qualifying play-off, which consisted of two rounds (preliminary round and play-off round), was determined by the AFC based on the association ranking of each team. Each tie was played as a single match, with the team from the higher-ranked association hosting the match. Extra time and penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary. The winners of each tie in the play-off round advanced to the group stage to join the 27 automatic qualifiers.
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|Khayr Vahdat||1–0||Sheikh Russel|
|Hilal Al-Quds||w/o[K]||Manang Marshyangdi Club|
- Manang Marshyangdi Club withdrew.
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|Salam Zgharta||3–0||Khayr Vahdat|
The draw for the group stage was held on 11 December 2014. The 32 teams were drawn into eight groups of four. Teams from the same association could not be drawn into the same group. Each group was played on a home-and-away round-robin basis. The winners and runners-up of each group advanced to the round of 16.
- Greater number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
- Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
- Greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
- Greater number of away goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
- If, after applying criteria 1 to 4, teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 4 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 6 to 10 apply;
- Goal difference in all the group matches;
- Greater number of goals scored in all the group matches;
- Penalty shoot-out if only two teams are involved and they are both on the field of play;
- Fewer score calculated according to the number of yellow and red cards received in the group matches (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card);
- Team who belongs to the member association with the higher AFC ranking.
|1||Al-Wehdat||6||4||1||1||16||3||+13||13||Advance to knockout stage||—||0–1||4–0||5–1|
|1||Al-Shorta||6||2||3||1||14||7||+7||9||Advance to knockout stage||—||4–0||6–2||2–2|
|3||Taraji Wadi Al-Nes||6||1||3||2||6||11||−5||6||1–0||1–1||—||1–1|
|1||Istiklol||6||3||2||1||12||8||+4||11||Advance to knockout stage||—||2–0||1–3||5–2|
|1||Al-Jaish||6||4||2||0||6||1||+5||14||Advance to knockout stage||—||0–0||1–1||1–0|
|1||Persipura Jayapura||6||5||1||0||17||4||+13||16||Advance to knockout stage||—||3–1||0–0||6–0|
|1||Johor Darul Ta'zim||6||5||0||1||11||3||+8||15||Advance to knockout stage||—||2–0||4–1||3–0|
|1||South China||6||6||0||0||19||3||+16||18||Advance to knockout stage||—||3–1||3–0||3–1|
|1||Persib Bandung||6||3||3||0||10||5||+5||12||Advance to knockout stage||—||3–3||4–1||1–0|
|4||Lao Toyota FC||6||0||3||3||7||10||−3||3||0–0||2–2||1–1||—|
In the knockout stage, the 16 teams played a single-elimination tournament. In the quarter-finals and semi-finals, each tie was played on a home-and-away two-legged basis, while in the round of 16 and final, each tie was played as a single match. The away goals rule (for two-legged ties), extra time (away goals would not apply in extra time) and penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary.
|Round of 16||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Final|
|Johor Darul Ta'zim||1|
|Johor Darul Ta'zim (w/o)||1||—||—|
|Johor Darul Ta'zim||5|
|Johor Darul Ta'zim||1||3||4|
Round of 16Edit
In the round of 16, the winners of one group played the runners-up of another group in the same zone, with the group winners hosting the match.
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|Persipura Jayapura||0–3 (awd.)[L]||Pahang|
|South China||2–0||Bengaluru FC|
|Johor Darul Ta'zim||5–0||Ayeyawady United|
- The Persipura Jayapura v Pahang match was not played as scheduled as Pahang players were denied entry into Indonesia due to visa issues. The AFC announced on 10 June 2015 that as a result, Persipura Jayapura forfeited the match and was considered to have lost the match by 3–0, based on the AFC Cup 2015 Competition Regulations and the AFC Disciplinary Code.
The draw for the quarter-finals was held on 18 June 2015. Teams from different zones could be drawn into the same tie, and there was no seeding or country protection, so teams from the same association could be drawn into the same tie.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Johor Darul Ta'zim||4–2||South China||1–1||3–1|
In the semi-finals, the matchups were determined by the quarter-final draw.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Al-Qadsia||w/o[M]||Johor Darul Ta'zim||3–1||Cancelled|
In the final, the host team was determined by a draw, held after the quarter-final draw.
|Johor Darul Takzim F.C.|
|Most Valuable Player||Mohd Safiq Rahim||Johor Darul Ta'zim|
|Top Goalscorer||Daniel McBreen||South China|
|Riste Naumov||Ayeyawady United|
|1||Daniel McBreen||South China||2||1||1||2||2||8|
|Riste Naumov||Ayeyawady United||2||2||2||2||8|
|Mahama Awal||South China||2||1||1||1||5|
|Boaz Solossa||Persipura Jayapura||1||1||2||1||5|
|Luciano Figueroa||Johor Darul Ta'zim||1||1||2||1||5|
|10||Ranti Martins||East Bengal||1||1||1||1||4|
|Safee Sali||Johor Darul Ta'zim||1||1||2||4|
|Mohd Safiq Rahim||Johor Darul Ta'zim||1||1||1||1||4|
|Edison Fonseca||Ayeyawady United||1||1||2||4|
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