2021 AFC Cup

The 2021 AFC Cup was the 18th edition of the AFC Cup, Asia's secondary club football tournament organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).[3]

2021 AFC Cup
Tournament details
DatesQualifying:
7 April – 15 August
Competition proper:
14 May – 5 November
TeamsGroup stage: 38 (originally)
Total: 43 (from 27 associations)
Final positions
ChampionsBahrain Al-Muharraq (2nd title)
Runners-upUzbekistan Nasaf
Tournament statistics
Matches played43
Goals scored138 (3.21 per match)
Attendance65,676 (1,527 per match)
Top scorer(s)Uzbekistan Khusayin Norchaev
(7 goals)[1]
Best player(s)Bahrain Abdulwahab Al-Malood[2]
2020
2022
(Note: All statistics do not include qualifying play-offs)

The winners of the tournament automatically qualified for the 2022 AFC Champions League, entering the qualifying play-offs, if they had not qualified through their domestic performance.[4]

Lebanese club Al-Ahed, having won their first AFC Cup title in 2019, were the title holders, since the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia after several group stage matches and the title was not awarded. However, they were eliminated by eventual winners Al-Muharraq in the West Asia Zonal semi-finals.

Association team allocationEdit

The 46 AFC member associations (excluding the Northern Mariana Islands, which became a full member in December 2020 and are not eligible for this season) are ranked based on their clubs' performance over the last four years in AFC competitions (their national team's FIFA World Rankings no longer considered).[5] The slots are allocated by the following criteria according to the Entry Manual:[6]

  • The associations are split into five zones (Article 5.1):
  • Excluding the top five associations in each region for AFC Champions League slot allocation, all other associations are eligible to enter the AFC Cup.
  • The teams from associations ranked 6th, 11th and 12th which are eliminated in the AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs enter the AFC Cup group stage (Article 3.2). The following rules are applied:
    • The associations ranked 6th in both the West Region and the East Region, while allocated one direct slot in the AFC Cup group stage without taking away any direct slot from other associations, are not ranked in each zone for AFC Cup slot allocation (Article 5.3).[7]
    • If they advance to the AFC Champions League group stage, the AFC Cup group stage slot is filled by the standby team from their association if such team are available (Article 5.12).
    • The rules above do not apply to the AFC Champions League title holders and AFC Cup title holders which are allocated AFC Champions League play-off slots should they not qualify for the tournament through domestic performance.
  • In the West Asia Zone and the ASEAN Zone, there are three groups in the group stage, including 9 direct slots, with the 3 remaining slots filled through qualifying play-offs (Article 5.2). The slots in each zone are distributed as follows:
    • The associations ranked 1st to 3rd are each allocated two direct slots.
    • The associations ranked 4th to 6th are each allocated one direct slot and one play-off slot.
    • The associations ranked 7th or below are each allocated get one play-off slot.
    • If any zone has an association ranked 6th for AFC Champions League slot allocation, which is allocated one direct slot in the AFC Cup group stage, there are 10 direct slots, with the 2 remaining slots filled through qualifying play-offs.
  • In the South Asia Zone, the Central Asia Zone, and the East Asia Zone, there is one group in the group stage, including 3 direct slots, with the 1 remaining slot filled through qualifying play-offs (Article 5.2). The slots in each zone are distributed as follows:[8]
    • The associations ranked 1st to 3rd are each allocated one direct slot and one play-off slot.
    • The associations ranked 4th or below are each allocated one play-off slot.
    • If any zone has an association ranked 6th for AFC Champions League slot allocation, which is allocated one direct slot in the AFC Cup group stage, there are 4 direct slots, and to ensure equal opportunity in each zone, another group is added to this zone in the group stage, with the 4 remaining slots filled through qualifying play-offs (Article 5.4.1).
    • If any zone has at least 7 play-off slots, to ensure equal opportunity in each zone, another group is added to this zone in the group stage, with the 5 remaining slots filled through qualifying play-offs (Article 5.4.2).
  • If any association with direct slots do not fulfill any one of the AFC Cup criteria, they have all their direct slots converted into play-off slots. The direct slots given up are redistributed to the highest eligible association by the following criteria (Articles 5.7 and 5.8):
    • For each association, the maximum number of total slots is two (Articles 3.4 and 3.5).
    • If any association is allocated one additional direct slot, one play-off slot is annulled and not redistributed.
  • If any association with only play-off slot(s), including those mentioned above, do not fulfill the minimum AFC Cup criteria, the play-off slot(s) are annulled and not redistributed (Articles 5.10 and 5.11).
  • For each association, the maximum number of total slots is one-third of the total number of eligible teams (excluding foreign teams) in the top division (Article 5.6). If this rule is applied, any direct slots given up are redistributed by the same criteria as mentioned above, and play-off slots are annulled and not redistributed (Article 9.10).
  • All participating teams must be granted an AFC Champions League or AFC Cup license, and apart from cup winners, finish in the top half of their top division (Articles 7.1 and 9.5). If any association do not have enough teams which satisfy this criteria, any direct slots given up are redistributed by the same criteria as mentioned above, and play-off slots are annulled and not redistributed (Article 9.9).
  • If any team granted a license refuses to participate, their slot, either direct or play-off, is annulled and not redistributed (Article 9.11).

Association rankingEdit

For the 2021 AFC Cup, the associations are allocated slots according to their association ranking which was published on 29 November 2019,[9][10] which takes into account their performance in the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup during the period between 2016 and 2019.

Participation for 2021 AFC Cup[11][12]
Participating
Not participating
(N) Number of teams/associations originally entered, before withdrawal of teams from the competition after the draw
Notes
  1. ^
    Afghanistan (AFG): No teams from Afghanistan were granted an AFC Cup license.[12]
  2. ^
    Bangladesh (BAN): One of the two teams from Bangladesh which originally entered the AFC Cup, Abahani Limited Dhaka, withdrew from the competition after the draw.[13]
  3. ^
    Guam (GUM): No teams from Guam were granted an AFC Cup license.[12]
  4. ^
    Macau (MAC): The two teams from Macau granted an AFC Cup license, Benfica de Macau and Chao Pak Kei, withdrew from the competition before the draw.[12][14]
  5. ^
    Myanmar (MYA): The two teams from Myanmar which originally entered the AFC Cup, Shan United and Hanthawaddy United, withdrew from the competition after the draw.[13]
  6. ^
    North Korea (PRK): No teams from North Korea were granted an AFC Cup license.[12]
  7. ^
    Oman (OMA): The two teams from Oman which originally entered the AFC Cup, Al-Seeb and Al-Nasr, withdrew from the competition after the draw.[15]
  8. ^
    Pakistan (PAK): No teams from Pakistan were granted an AFC Cup license.[12]
  9. ^
    Philippines (PHI): Philippines were ranked 6th in the East Region for AFC Champions League allocation, and thus were allocated one direct slot in the AFC Cup group stage without taking away any direct slot from other associations. Since Kaya F.C.–Iloilo qualified to the 2021 AFC Champions League through the play-off and no standby club to replace them, Philippines did not participate in the AFC Cup.[16]
  10. ^
    Syria (SYR): No teams from Syria were initially granted an AFC Cup license,[12] but Tishreen and Al-Wahda were successful in their appeal.[17]
  11. ^
    Uzbekistan (UZB): Uzbekistan were ranked 6th in the West Region for AFC Champions League allocation, and thus were allocated one direct slot in the AFC Cup group stage without taking away any direct slot from other associations.
  12. ^
    Yemen (YEM): No teams from Yemen were granted an AFC Cup license.[12]

TeamsEdit

Teams in italics will play in the AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs, and will play in the AFC Cup group stage if they fail to advance to the AFC Champions League group stage. Should they advance to the AFC Champions League group stage, they will not play in the AFC Cup, and will be replaced by the standby team from their association if such team are available.

Notes
  1. ^
    Title holders (TH): Al-Ahed are the title holders.
  2. ^
    ASEAN Zone (ASZ): On 30 April 2021, the AFC announced that the two teams from Myanmar, Shan United and Hanthawady United, withdrew from the group stage and play-off stage respectively after the draw, due to the state of emergency caused by the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état. As a result, the AFC decided to cancel the two play-off round matches, and promote Persipura Jayapura and the two preliminary stage winners to the group stage.[20] Following the successful qualification of Kaya–Iloilo to AFC Champions League group stage, AFC decided on 6 July 2021 to promote Visakha and Lalenok United to the group stage.[16]
  3. ^
    Bangladesh (BAN): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh, the 2019–20 Bangladesh Premier League was cancelled and declared null and void by the Bangladesh Football Federation.[21] The teams from Bangladesh playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined by the results of the previous domestic season (2018–19 Bangladesh Premier League).[22]
  4. ^
    Brunei (BRU): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Brunei, the 2020 Brunei Super League was cancelled and declared null and void by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam,[23] and the 2020 Brunei FA Cup was also cancelled and not organized.[24] The team from Brunei playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined by the results of the previous domestic season (2018–19 Brunei Super League). MS ABDB, the 2018–19 Brunei Super League champions, were not granted an AFC Cup license. As a result, Kasuka, the best team granted an AFC Cup license (2018–19 Brunei Super League runners-up), qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup.[12][25]
  5. ^
    Hong Kong (HKG): R&F, the 2019–20 Hong Kong Premier League third place, withdrew from the league after the season.[26] As a result, Lee Man, the 2019–20 Hong Kong Premier League fourth place, qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup.
  6. ^
    Indonesia (IDN): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, the 2020 Liga 1 and the 2020 Piala Indonesia were cancelled and declared null and void by the Football Association of Indonesia.[27] The teams from Indonesia playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined by the results of the previous domestic season (2019 Liga 1 and 2018–19 Piala Indonesia). PSM Makassar, the 2018–19 Piala Indonesia winners, were not granted an AFC Cup license. As a result, Persipura Jayapura, the second best team granted an AFC Cup license (2019 Liga 1 third place), qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup.[11][28]
  7. ^
    India (IND): Originally, the two teams from India which would have qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup would have been Mohun Bagan, the 2019–20 I-League champions (they were already assured of the title before the league was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India), and ATK, the 2019–20 Indian Super League playoffs winners.[29] However, the owners of ATK and Mohun Bagan merged to form ATK Mohun Bagan for the 2020–21 Indian Super League season. The All India Football Federation decided that ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru, the 2019–20 Indian Super League regular season third place (since ATK were also regular season runners-up), would qualify for the 2021 AFC Cup.[30]
  8. ^
    Jordan (JOR): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan, the 2020 Jordan FA Cup was cancelled and not organized by the Jordan Football Association. The teams from Jordan playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined only by the results of the 2020 Jordanian Pro League. Al-Jazeera and Al-Ramtha, the 2020 Jordanian Pro League runners-up and third place, were not granted an AFC Cup license. As a result, Al-Salt and Al-Faisaly, the second and third best teams granted an AFC Cup license (2020 Jordanian Pro League fourth place and fifth place), qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup.[11][31]
  9. ^
    Lebanon (LBN): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon, the 2019–20 Lebanese Premier League and the 2019–20 Lebanese FA Cup were cancelled and declared null and void by the Lebanese Football Association (the competitions were previously suspended due to domestic issues including protests and financial problems).[32][33] The teams from Lebanon playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined by the results of the previous domestic season (2018–19 Lebanese Premier League and 2018–19 Lebanese FA Cup).[34]
  10. ^
    Malaysia (MAS): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia, the 2020 Malaysia FA Cup was cancelled and declared null and void by the Football Association of Malaysia.[35] The 2020 Malaysia Cup winners would originally qualify for the 2021 AFC Cup,[36] but it was also cancelled and declared null and void. The teams from Malaysia playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined only by the results of the 2020 Malaysia Super League.[37]
  11. ^
    Maldives (MDV): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Maldives, the 2020 Maldives FA Cup was cancelled and declared null and void by the Football Association of Maldives.[38] The teams from the Maldives playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined only by the results of the 2019–20 Dhivehi Premier League.[39]
  12. ^
    Myanmar (MYA): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar, the 2020 General Aung San Shield was cancelled and declared null and void by the Myanmar Football Federation.[40] The teams from Myanmar playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined only by the results of the 2020 Myanmar National League.
  13. ^
    Nepal (NEP): Machhindra, the 2019–20 Martyr's Memorial A-Division League champions, were not granted an AFC Cup license. As a result, Nepal Army Club, the best team granted an AFC Cup license (2019–20 Martyr's Memorial A-Division League runners-up), qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup.[12][41]
  14. ^
    Oman (OMA): Dhofar, the 2019–20 Sultan Qaboos Cup winners, were not granted an AFC Cup license. As a result, Al-Nasr, the second best team granted an AFC Cup license (2019–20 Oman Professional League fifth place), qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup.[12][42]
  15. ^
    Philippines (PHI): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, the 2020 Copa Paulino Alcantara was cancelled and not organized by the Philippine Football Federation. The teams from the Philippines playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined only by the results of the 2020 Philippines Football League.[43] Azkals Development Team, the 2020 Philippines Football League third place, are a team under the control of the Philippine Football Federation and thus ineligible to represent the Philippines in AFC club competitions. Therefore, there was no standby team from the Philippines as there were only six teams in the league and only teams in the top half were eligible.
  16. ^
    Palestine (PLE): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the State of Palestine, the 2019–20 Palestine Cup was cancelled and declared null and void by the Palestinian Football Association. The teams from Palestine playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined only by the results of the 2019–20 West Bank Premier League.[44]
  17. ^
    Singapore (SIN): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore, the 2020 Singapore Cup was cancelled and not organized by the Football Association of Singapore. The teams from Singapore playing in the 2021 AFC Cup were determined only by the results of the 2020 Singapore Premier League.[45] Albirex Niigata (S), the 2020 Singapore Premier League champions, are a team from Japan and thus ineligible to represent Singapore in AFC club competitions. As a result, Geylang International, the 2020 Singapore Premier League fourth place, qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup.
  18. ^
    South Asia Zone (SAZ): On 30 April 2021, the AFC decided that Abahani Limited Dhaka were considered to have withdrawn from the preliminary stage after the draw, due to challenges in meeting the extended deadline to host their preliminary round 2 match and also considering the lockdown and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.[13]
  19. ^
    Sri Lanka (SRI): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, the 2019–20 Sri Lanka Champions League was cancelled and not organized by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka. The 2019–20 Sri Lanka FA Cup winners would qualify for the 2021 AFC Cup.
  20. ^
    Turkmenistan (TKM): Altyn Asyr, the 2020 Ýokary Liga champions and 2020 Turkmenistan Cup winners, and Ahal, the 2020 Ýokary Liga runners-up, were not granted an AFC Champions League license, but were granted an AFC Cup license. As a result, they qualified for the 2021 AFC Cup.[11][46]
  21. ^
    Timor-Leste (TLS): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in East Timor, the 2020 LFA Primeira was cancelled and not organized by the East Timor Football Federation.[47] The 2020 Copa FFTL winners would qualify for the 2021 AFC Cup.[48]
  22. ^
    Uzbekistan (UZB): Nasaf, the 2020 Uzbekistan Super League runners-up, were not granted an AFC Champions League license. As a result, AGMK, the second best team granted an AFC Champions League license (2020 Uzbekistan Super League third place), qualified for the 2021 AFC Champions League, and would have played in the AFC Cup had they failed to advance to the AFC Champions League group stage.[11][49] Since AGMK advanced from the AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs to the group stage, Nasaf, which were granted an AFC Cup license and were the standby team from Uzbekistan, replaced AGMK in the AFC Cup group stage.
  23. ^
    West Asia Zone (WAZ): On 23 April 2021, the AFC announced that the two teams from Oman, Al-Seeb and Al-Nasr, withdrew from the group stage after the draw, after the suspension of all international and domestic sporting activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Oman. As a result, the AFC decided to cancel the play-off round match between Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari and Al-Kuwait, and promote both teams to the group stage.[15]
 
 
Jordan
 
Beirut
 
Bahrain
 
Palestine
 
 
Ashgabat-Ahal Region
 
Dordoi (H)
 
Malé
 
Singapore
 
Hong Kong
 
 
Bahrain teams
  Al-Hidd (H)
  Al-Muharraq

Ashgabat-Ahal Region teams
  Altyn Asyr
  Ahal

Malé teams
  Maziya (H)
  Eagles

 
Hong Kong teams
  Eastern (H)
  Lee Man (H)

Singapore teams
  Lion City Sailors (H)
  Geylang International (H)

Location of teams of the 2021 AFC Cup.
  Brown: Group A;   Red: Group B;   Orange: Group C;   Yellow: Group D;   Pink: Group E;
  Green: Group F;   Blue: Group G;   Cyan: Group H;   Turquoise: Group I;   Purple: Group J;
(H) Group stage hosts
  Qualifying play-offs
Withdrawn teams

ScheduleEdit

The schedule of the competition is as follows.[50]

On 11 November 2020, the AFC approved a new calendar for the competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where the group stage is played as centralized single round-robin tournament, and the preliminary round, play-off round, and ASEAN Zonal semi-finals and final are played as a single match.[51] On 25 January 2021, the AFC published the schedule of the competition.[52] On 1 March 2021, the AFC announced the hosts for the group stage, except for Group G whose hosts will be decided at a later date.[53] On 27 March 2021, the AFC announced that the West Asia Zone group matches were rescheduled from 23 to 29 May to 21–27 May.[54] On 26 April 2021, the AFC announced that the ASEAN Zone group matches were rescheduled from 22 to 28 June to 29 June – 6 July.[55] On 3 May 2021, the AFC announced that the East Asia Zone group matches were rescheduled from 14 to 20 May to 23–29 June.[56] On 9 May 2021, the AFC announced that the South Asia Zone group matches which were originally scheduled between 14 and 20 May would be postponed indefinitely.[57] On 27 May 2021, the AFC announced that the ASEAN Zone group matches which were originally scheduled between 29 June – 6 July would be postponed indefinitely.[58] On 7 July 2021, AFC decided to cancel the matches in ASEAN Zone.[59]

Notes:

  • W: West Asia Zone
  • S: South Asia Zone
  • C: Central Asia Zone
  • A: ASEAN Zone
  • E: East Asia Zone
Stage Round Draw date Match date
Preliminary stage Preliminary round 1 No draw 7 April 2021 (S)
Preliminary round 2 14 April 2021 (S)
Play-off stage Play-off round 15 August 2021 (S)
Group stage Matchday 1 27 January 2021[60] 14 May 2021 (C), 21 May 2021 (W), 23 June 2021 (E), 18 August 2021 (S)
Matchday 2 17 May 2021 (C), 24 May 2021 (W), 26 June 2021 (E) 21 August 2021 (S)
Matchday 3 20 May 2021 (C), 27 May 2021 (W), 29 June 2021 (E) 24 August 2021 (S)
Knockout stage Zonal semi-finals 20–21 September 2021 (W)
Zonal finals 4 August 2021[59] 25 August 2021 (C), 20 October 2021 (W)
Inter-zone play-off semi-finals 21–22 September 2021
Inter-zone play-off final 20 October 2021
Final 5 November 2021

The original schedule of the competition, as planned before the pandemic, was as follows.

Original schedule for 2021 AFC Cup
Stage Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Preliminary stage Preliminary round No draw 5–6 January 2021 (W, A)
26–27 January 2021 (S, C, E)
12–13 January 2021 (W, A)
2–3 February 2021 (S, C, E)
Play-off stage Play-off round 19–20 January 2021 (W, A)
9–10 February 2021 (S, C, E)
26–27 January 2021 (W, A)
16–17 February 2021 (S, C, E)
Group stage Matchday 1 TBD 15–17 February 2021 (W, A), 2–3 March 2021 (S, C, E)
Matchday 2 1–3 March 2021 (W, A), 16–17 March 2021 (S, C, E)
Matchday 3 15–17 March 2021 (W, A), 6–7 April 2021 (S, C, E)
Matchday 4 5–7 April 2021 (W, A), 13–14 April 2021 (S, C, E)
Matchday 5 12–14 April 2021 (W, A), 18–19 May 2021 (S, C, E)
Matchday 6 26–28 April 2021 (W, A), 25–26 May 2021 (S, C, E)
Knockout stage Zonal semi-finals 17–19 May 2021 (W, A) 24–26 May 2021 (W, A)
Zonal finals TBD 3–4 August 2021 (C*, S*, E*, A)
28 September 2021 (W)
10–11 August 2021 (C*, S*, E*, A)
19 October 2021 (W)
Inter-zone play-off semi-finals 24–25 August 2021 14–15 September 2021
Inter-zone play-off final 29 September 2021 20 October 2021
Final 6 November 2021

Qualifying play-offsEdit

In the qualifying play-offs, each tie was played as a single match. Extra time and penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary.[3] The bracket of the qualifying play-offs for each zone was determined based on each team's association ranking, with the team from the higher-ranked association hosting the match. The one winner of preliminary round 2 (from ASEAN Zone) and one winner of the play-off round (from South Zone) advanced to the group stage to join the 35 direct entrants.[61]

Preliminary round 1Edit

Team 1  Score  Team 2
South Asia Zone
Nepal Army Club   5–1   Sri Lanka Police
Eagles   2–0   Thimphu City

Preliminary round 2Edit

Team 1  Score  Team 2
South Asia Zone
Bengaluru   5–0   Nepal Army Club
Abahani Limited Dhaka   Cancelled[note 1]   Eagles
Team 1  Score  Team 2
ASEAN Zone
Chanthabouly   Cancelled[note 2]   Kasuka
Visakha   Cancelled[note 2]   Lalenok United

Play-off roundEdit

Team 1  Score  Team 2
West Asia Zone
Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari   Cancelled[note 3]   Al-Kuwait
Team 1  Score  Team 2
South Asia Zone
Bengaluru   1–0   Eagles
Team 1  Score  Team 2
ASEAN Zone
Hanthawady United   Cancelled[note 2] Winners of ASEAN 2.1
Persipura Jayapura   Cancelled[note 2] Winners of ASEAN 2.2

Group stageEdit

The draw for the group stage was held on 27 January 2021, 14:30 MYT (UTC+8), at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.[65] The 38 teams were drawn into nine groups of four and one group of three (in the Central Asia Zone): three groups each in the West Asia Zone (Groups A–C) and the ASEAN Zone (Groups G–I), two groups in the Central Asia Zone (Groups E–F), and one group each in the South Asia Zone (Group D) and the East Asia Zone (Group J). For each zone, teams were seeded into four pots and drawn into the relevant positions within each group, based on their association ranking and their seeding within their association, in consideration of technical balance between groups. Teams from the same association in zones with more than one group (West Asia Zone, Central Asia Zone, and ASEAN Zone) could not be drawn into the same group.[66]

In the group stage, each group was played on a single round-robin basis in centralised venues. The following teams advanced to the knockout stage:

  • The winners of each group and the best runners-up in the West Asia Zone and the ASEAN Zone advanced to the Zonal semi-finals.
  • The winners of each group in the Central Asia Zone advanced to the Zonal finals.
  • The winners of each group in the South Asia Zone and the East Asia Zone advanced to the Inter-zone play-off semi-finals.

Group AEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification AHE WAH HID
1   Al-Ahed 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4 Zonal semi-finals 2–1
2   Al-Wahda 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 2 0–0
3   Al-Hidd (H) 2 0 1 1 2 3 −1 1 1–1
Source: AFC
(H) Host

Group BEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification MUH SAL ANS MBA
1   Al-Muharraq 3 2 0 1 6 4 +2 6[a] Zonal semi-finals 2–3
2   Al-Salt (H) 3 2 0 1 7 2 +5 6[a] 0–1 5–0
3   Al-Ansar 3 1 0 2 4 5 −1 3[b] 1–3 1–2
4   Markaz Balata 3 1 0 2 3 9 −6 3[b] 0–2
Source: AFC
(H) Host
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head points: Al-Muharraq 3, Al-Salt 0.
  2. ^ a b Head-to-head points: Al-Ansar 3, Markaz Balata 0.

Group CEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification KSC FAI TIS MSA
1   Al-Kuwait 3 2 1 0 8 4 +4 7 Zonal semi-finals 4–1
2   Al-Faisaly (H) 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 6 0–1 1–0
3   Tishreen 3 1 1 1 8 5 +3 4 3–3 5–1
4   Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari 3 0 0 3 2 11 −9 0 0–2
Source: AFC
(H) Host

Group DEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification AMB BSK BFC MAZ
1   ATK Mohun Bagan 3 2 1 0 6 2 +4 7 Inter-zone play-off semi-finals 1–1 2–0
2   Bashundhara Kings 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 5 2–0
3   Bengaluru 3 1 1 1 6 4 +2 4 0−0
4   Maziya (H) 3 0 0 3 3 11 −8 0 1–3 2–6
Source: AFC
(H) Host

Group EEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification AHA DOR RAV
1   Ahal 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4 6 Zonal finals 3–1
2   Dordoi (H) 2 1 0 1 3 2 +1 3 0–2
3   Ravshan Kulob 2 0 0 2 1 6 −5 0 0–3
Source: AFC
(H) Host

Group FEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification NAS ALT KHU ALA
1   Nasaf 3 3 0 0 9 0 +9 9 Zonal finals 2–0 4–0
2   Altyn Asyr 3 1 1 1 7 8 −1 4 2–2
3   Khujand (H) 3 1 1 1 4 5 −1 4 0–3 2–0
4   Alay 3 0 0 3 4 11 −7 0 4–5
Source: AFC
(H) Host

Group G (cancelled)Edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts HAN BAL BOE G4
1   Hanoi 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled Cancelled
2   Bali United 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled
3   Boeung Ket 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled Cancelled
4   Winners of ASEAN 2.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled
Source: AFC

Group H (cancelled)Edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts KED LIO SGN PPR
1   Kedah Darul Aman 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled Cancelled
2   Lion City Sailors 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled
3   Saigon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled Cancelled
4   Persipura Jayapura 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled
Source: AFC

Group I (cancelled)Edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts VIS LAL TER GEY
1   Visakha 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled Cancelled
2   Lalenok United 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled
3   Terengganu 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled Cancelled
4   Geylang International 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cancelled
Source: AFC

Group JEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification LEE EAS TNC ATH
1   Lee Man (H) 3 3 0 0 10 2 +8 9 Inter-zone play-off finals[a] 4–1
2   Eastern (H) 3 2 0 1 2 1 +1 6 0–1 1–0
3   Tainan City 3 1 0 2 4 5 −1 3 3–0
4   Athletic 220 3 0 0 3 1 9 −8 0 1–5 0–1
Source: AFC
(H) Host
  1. ^ After matches in ASEAN Zone was cancelled, there are only three teams which qualified to the Inter-zone play-off semi-finals, i.e., the winners of the South Asia Zone (Group D), the winners of the East Asia Zone (Group J), and the winners of the Central Zonal final. The three Zonal champions will be drawn into two pairings where one club will get a bye to the Inter-zone play-off final, which happened for Lee Man.

Ranking of runner-up teamsEdit

West Asia ZoneEdit

As Group A only had three teams, the results against fourth-placed teams in Groups B and C were not considered in this ranking.

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 B   Al-Salt 2 1 0 1 2 2 0 3 Zonal semi-finals
2 C   Al-Faisaly 2 1 0 1 1 1 0 3
3 A   Al-Wahda 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 2
Source: AFC
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Disciplinary points; 5) Drawing of lots.

ASEAN Zone (cancelled)Edit

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 G G2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 H H2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 I I2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Source: AFC
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Disciplinary points; 5) Drawing of lots.

Knockout stageEdit

In the knockout stage, the 8 teams play a single-elimination tournament. Each tie is played on a single match. Extra time and penalty shoot-out will be used to decide the winners if necessary (Regulations Article 9.3 and 10.1).

BracketEdit

Central Asia Zonal final
(Winners advances to
Inter-zone play-off semi-finals)
  
  Nasaf 3
  Ahal 2
West Asia Zonal semi-finals West Asia Zonal final Final
                     
  Al-Muharraq 3  
  Al-Ahed 0  
    Al-Muharraq 2  
    Al-Kuwait 0  
  Al-Kuwait 2
    Al-Salt 0  
  Al-Muharraq 3
Inter-zone play-off semi-finals   Inter-zone play-off final  
    Nasaf 0
    Nasaf 6  
  ATK Mohun Bagan 0  
  Nasaf (a.e.t.) 3
    Lee Man 2  
  Lee Man
  N/A (Bye)  

Zonal semi-finalsEdit

The West Asia Zonal semi-finals were played over one leg, with the home team determined by the draw mechanism based on which group runners-up qualify. If a group winner played a group runner-up, the group winner hosted the match. If two group winners played each other, one of the group winner (whose group runner-up qualify) hosted the match.[3]

Team 1  Score  Team 2
West Asia Zone
Al-Muharraq   3–0   Al-Ahed
Al-Kuwait   2–0   Al-Salt
Team 1  Score  Team 2
ASEAN Zone
10–11 Aug
10–11 Aug

Zonal finalsEdit

The West Asia and Central Asia Zonal final were played over one leg, with the home team decided by draw. The winners of the West Asia Zonal final advanced to the final, while the winners of the Central Asia Zonal final advanced to the Inter-zone play-off semi-finals.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
West Asia Zone
Al-Muharraq   2–0   Al-Kuwait
Team 1  Score  Team 2
Central Asia Zone
Nasaf   3–2   Ahal
Team 1  Score  Team 2
ASEAN Zone
25 Aug

Inter-zone play-off semi-finalsEdit

After matches in ASEAN Zone was cancelled, there were only three teams which qualified to the Inter-zone play-off semi-finals, i.e., the winners of the South Asia Zone (Group D), the winners of the East Asia Zone (Group J), and the winners of the Central Zonal final. The three Zonal champions were drawn into two pairings where one club got a bye to the Inter-zone play-off final, which happened for Lee Man. The matchups and order of legs decided by draw, without any seeding with the winner of Central Zonal Final hosting the match and the winner of South Asia Zone being the away team.[67]

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Nasaf   6–0   ATK Mohun Bagan

Inter-zone play-off finalEdit

In the Inter-zone play-off final, the two teams which advanced from the Inter-zone play-off semi-finals played each other, with the order of legs determined by the Inter-zone play-off semi-final draw. The winners of the Inter-zone play-off final advanced to the final.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Nasaf   3–2 (a.e.t.)   Lee Man

FinalEdit

The final was played over one leg, between the winners of the West Asia Zonal final and the winners of the Inter-zone play-off final. The home team was determined on a rotation basis, with the match hosted by the winners of the West Asia Zonal final, as in the case of odd-numbered years (Regulations 9.1.2).[3]

Al-Muharraq  3–0  Nasaf
  • Al-Mardi   2'
  • Jameel   74'
  • Carioca   80'
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 9,060
Referee: Ko Hyung-jin (South Korea)

Top scorersEdit

  Team eliminated / inactive for this round.
  Player is not in the team but team still active for this round.
Rank Player Team MD1 MD2 MD3 ZSF ZF ISF IF F Total
1   Khusayin Norchaev   Nasaf 1 1 1 3 1 7
2   Elman Tagaýew   Ahal 2 1 2 5
3   Ahmed Akaïchi   Al-Kuwait 1 2 1 4
  Altymyrat Annadurdyýew   Altyn Asyr 2 2
  Gil   Lee Man 1 2 1
  Ronald Ngah   Al-Salt 1 3
7   Faisal Al-Harbi   Al-Kuwait 2 1 3
  Hassan Maatouk   Al-Ansar 1 1 1
  Khaled Salem   Markaz Balata 3
10   Ismail Abdullatif   Al-Muharraq 1 1 2
  Husniddin Aliqulov   Nasaf 1 1
  Mahmoud Al-Mardi   Al-Muharraq 1 1
  José Ángel   Lee Man 1 1
  Abay Bokoleev   Dordoi 2
  Dilshod Bozorov   Khujand 1 1
  Flávio Carioca   Al-Muharraq 1 1
  Chen Jui-chieh   Tainan City 2
  Roy Krishna   ATK Mohun Bagan 1 1
  Shokhmalik Komilov   Nasaf 1 1
  Thaer Krouma   Tishreen 2
  Lee Hong Lim   Lee Man 2
  Mohammad Marmour   Tishreen 1 1
  Bidyashagar Singh   Bengaluru 2

Note: Goals scored in the qualifying play-offs are not counted when determining top scorer (Regulations Article 57.4).[3]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ On 30 April 2021, the AFC decided that Abahani Limited Dhaka were considered to have withdrawn from the preliminary stage after the draw, due to challenges in meeting the extended deadline to host their preliminary round 2 match and also considering the lockdown and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh.[13]
  2. ^ a b c d On 30 April 2021, the AFC announced that the two teams from Myanmar, Shan United and Hanthawady United, withdrew from the group stage and play-off stage respectively after the draw, due to the state of emergency caused by the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état. As a result, the AFC decided to cancel the two play-off round matches, and promote Persipura Jayapura and the two preliminary stage winners to the group stage.[13] However, after Kaya–Iloilo secured their qualification for the AFC Champions League group stage and taking into consideration the absence of a standby club from Philippines, on 6 July 2021, the AFC decided to cancel the preliminary stage match between Visakha and Lanelok United and promoted them to Group I.[63] Later, on 7 July 2021, the AFC decided to cancel all matches of the ASEAN Zone, including the preliminary stage match.[64]
  3. ^ On 23 April 2021, the AFC announced that the two teams from Oman, Al-Seeb and Al-Nasr, withdrew from the group stage after the draw, after the suspension of all international and domestic sporting activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Oman. As a result, the AFC decided to cancel the play-off round match between Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari and Al-Kuwait, and promote both teams to the group stage.[62]

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External linksEdit