2021 AFC Cup group stage

The 2021 AFC Cup group stage was played from 14 May to 24 August 2021.[1] A total of 38 teams should have competed in the group stage to decide the 12 places in the knockout stage of the 2021 AFC Cup.[2]

Draw Edit

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.[3] 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.[4]

Originally, 39 teams entered into the group stage draw, which included the 35 direct entrants and the four winners of the play-off round of the qualifying play-offs, whose identity was not known at the time of the draw. However, after the withdrawal of teams from Oman and Myanmar, and promotion of Kaya–Iloilo to AFC Champions League group stage, only 37 teams would compete, including 34 direct entrants, one winner of the play-off round, and two winners of the preliminary round.

Zone Groups Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
West Asia Zone A–C   Al-Salt   Al-Hidd   Al-Faisaly   Al-Muharraq
  Al-Ahed   Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari
(  Al-Seeb)[note 1]
  Al-Ansar   Al-Nasr[note 1]
  Tishreen   Markaz Balata   Al-Wahda   Al-Kuwait
(Winners of Play-off West Asia)[note 1]
South Asia Zone D   ATK Mohun Bagan   Bashundhara Kings   Maziya   Bengaluru
(Winners of Play-off South Asia)
Central Asia Zone E–F   Nasaf (AGMK)[note 2]   Altyn Asyr   Khujand   Alay
  Ravshan Kulob   Dordoi   Ahal
ASEAN Zone G–I   Visakha
(  Kaya–Iloilo)
  Lion City Sailors   Boeung Ket   Geylang International
  Hà Nội   Lalenok United
(Winners of Preliminary ASEAN 2.2)
(  Shan United)[note 3]
  Sài Gòn   TBD (Winners of Preliminary ASEAN 2.1)
(Winners of Play-off ASEAN 1)[note 3]
  Kedah   Bali United   Terengganu   Persipura Jayapura
(Winners of Play-off ASEAN 2)[note 3]
East Asia Zone J   Eastern   Tainan City   Athletic 220   Lee Man
Standby teams[note 2]

Format Edit

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.

Tiebreakers Edit

The teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss). If tied on points, tiebreakers were applied in the following order (Regulations Article 8.3):[2]

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  4. Away goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams; (not applicable since the matches were played in a centralised venue)
  5. If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
  6. Goal difference in all group matches;
  7. Goals scored in all group matches;
  8. Penalty shoot-out if only two teams playing each other in the last round of the group are tied;
  9. Disciplinary points (yellow card = 1 point, red card as a result of two yellow cards = 3 points, direct red card = 3 points, yellow card followed by direct red card = 4 points);
  10. Association ranking;
  11. Drawing of lots.

Schedule Edit

The schedule of each matchday was as follows.[1]

Matchday Dates Matches
West Asia[7] Central Asia[8] South Asia[9] ASEAN[10] East Asia[11] Four-team groups Three-team group
Matchday 1 21 May 2021 14 May 2021 18 August 2021 Cancelled 23 June 2021 Team 1 vs. Team 4, Team 2 vs. Team 3 Team 3 vs. Team 1
Matchday 2 24 May 2021 17 May 2021 21 August 2021 26 June 2021 Team 4 vs. Team 2, Team 3 vs. Team 1 Team 2 vs. Team 3
Matchday 3 27 May 2021 20 May 2021 24 August 2021 29 June 2021 Team 1 vs. Team 2, Team 3 vs. Team 4 Team 1 vs. Team 2

Centralised venues Edit

On 1 March 2021, AFC confirmed the hosts for the group stage, except for Group G whose hosts were decided later.[12]

Groups Edit

Group A Edit

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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(H) Hosts
Al-Wahda  0–0  Al-Ahed
Live Report
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Attendance: 0
Referee: Seyed Vahid Kazemi (Iran)

Al-Hidd  1–1  Al-Wahda
  • Al-Shamrani   48'
Live Report
Stats Report

Al-Hidd  1–2  Al-Ahed
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Sadullo Gulmurodi (Tajikistan)

Group B Edit

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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(H) Hosts
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.
Al-Salt  0–1  Al-Muharraq
Live Report
Stats Report
Abdullatif   42'
Attendance: 0
Referee: Mongkolchai Pechsri (Thailand)
Markaz Balata  0–2  Al-Ansar
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Nivon Robesh Gamini (Sri Lanka)

Al-Muharraq  2–3  Markaz Balata
Live Report
Stats Report
Salem   45+1', 55', 71'
Attendance: 0
Referee: Chen Hsin-chuan (Chinese Taipei)
Al-Salt  2–1  Al-Ansar
Live Report
Stats Report
Maatouk   45+2' (pen.)
Attendance: 0
Referee: Nasrullo Kabirov (Tajikistan)

Al-Ansar  1–3  Al-Muharraq
Maatouk   17' Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hoish (Saudi Arabia)
Al-Salt  5–0  Markaz Balata
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Nivon Robesh Gamini (Sri Lanka)

Group C Edit

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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(H) Hosts
Tishreen  3–3  Kuwait SC
Live Report
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Attendance: 0
Referee: Bijan Heidari (Iran)
Al-Faisaly  2–0  Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hoish (Saudi Arabia)

Kuwait SC  4–1  Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Kim Woo-sung (South Korea)
Al-Faisaly  1–0  Tishreen
Live Report
Stats Report

Al-Faisaly  0–1  Kuwait SC
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Mongkolchai Pechsri (Thailand)
Tishreen  5–1  Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Halim Aqa Shirzad (Afghanistan)

Group D Edit

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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(H) Hosts
ATK Mohun Bagan  2−0  Bengaluru
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Mohammad Arafah (Jordan)
Bashundhara Kings  2–0  Maziya
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ali Reda (Lebanon)

Maziya  1−3  ATK Mohun Bagan
Ibrahim   25' Live Report
Stats Report

ATK Mohun Bagan  1–1  Bashundhara Kings
Williams   62' Live Report
Stats Report
Fernandes   28'
Attendance: 0
Referee: Qassim Al-Hatmi (Oman)
Maziya  2–6  Bengaluru
Live Report
Stats Report

Group E Edit

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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(H) Hosts
Ahal  3–1  Ravshan Kulob
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Shukri Al-Hunfush (Saudi Arabia)

Dordoi  0–2  Ahal
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 0
Referee: Zaid Thamer (Iraq)

Ravshan Kulob  0–3  Dordoi
Live Report
Stats Report

Group F Edit

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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(H) Hosts
Nasaf  4–0  Alay
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 800
Referee: Mahmood Al-Majarafi (Oman)
Altyn Asyr  2–2  Khujand
Annadurdyýew   15', 44' Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 4,100
Referee: Omar Mohamed Al-Ali (United Arab Emirates)

Alay  4–5  Altyn Asyr
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 400
Referee: Clifford Daypuyat (Philippines)
Khujand  0–3  Nasaf
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 2,500
Referee: Ahmad Al-Ali (Kuwait)

Nasaf  2–0  Altyn Asyr
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 750
Referee: Mahmood Al-Majarafi (Oman)
Khujand  2–0  Alay
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 4,300
Referee: Baraa Aisha (Palestine)

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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers


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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers


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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers


Group J Edit

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
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(H) Hosts
  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.
Tainan City  3–0  Athletic 220
Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 183
Referee: Feras Taweel (Syria)
Eastern  0–1  Lee Man
Live Report
Stats Report
Gil   26'
Attendance: 2,326
Referee: Payam Heydari (Iran)

Athletic 220  0–1  Eastern
Live Report
Stats Report
Lee Ka Yiu   55'
Attendance: 1,004
Referee: Abdul Hakim Haidi (Brunei Darussalam)
Lee Man  4–1  Tainan City
Live Report
Stats Report
Estama   86'

Athletic 220  1–5  Lee Man
Naranbold   90+1' Live Report
Stats Report
Attendance: 1,621
Referee: Payam Heydari (Iran)
Eastern  1–0  Tainan City
J. Lum   77' (pen.) Live Report
Stats Report

Ranking of runner-up teams Edit

West Asia Zone Edit

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.

Notes Edit

  1. ^ a b c 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.[5] Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari would occupy position C2 (original position of Al-Seeb) and Al-Kuwait would occupy position C4 (original position of play-off round winner), while Al-Nasr (position A4) would not be replaced.
  2. ^ a b The standby teams would replace a team from the same association which played in the AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs and advanced to the AFC Champions League group stage. Since AGMK advanced from the AFC Champions League qualifying play-offs to the group stage, Nasaf, which were the standby team from Uzbekistan, replaced AGMK in the AFC Cup group stage. There is no standby team from Philippines (for Kaya–Iloilo)
  3. ^ 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.[6] Persipura Jayapura would occupy position H4 (original position of play-off round winner 2), the preliminary round winner 1 would occupy position G4 (original position of play-off round winner 1), and the preliminary round winner 2 would occupy position I2 (original position of Shan United).

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "AFC Competitions Calendar 2021". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 5 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "AFC Cup 2021 Competition Regulations" (PDF). the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation.
  3. ^ "Group Stage draw sets stage for thrilling 2021 AFC Cup". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 27 January 2021.
  4. ^ "AFC Cup 2021 Draw Mechanism". Asian Football Confederation. 26 January 2021 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "AFC's decision on the withdrawal of Oman clubs from AFC Cup". 23 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Latest updates on AFC Club Competitions". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Update on AFC Cup West Zone Group Stage matches". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 27 March 2021.
  8. ^ "AFC Club Competitions' Group Stages to be played in centralised venues". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 25 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Latest update on AFC Cup (South) Group D matches". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 9 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Update on AFC Cup ASEAN Zone Group Stage matches". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  11. ^ "AFC Cup East Zone Group Stage matches to take place in June". the-afc.com. Asian Football Confederation. 3 May 2021.
  12. ^ "Hosts for AFC Cup 2021 Group Stage confirmed". Asian Football Confederation. 1 March 2021.

External links Edit