AFC Cup – Central Zone will start tomorrow! To prepare you for the matches, we compiled the all-time records of each participating teams in Central Zone. The 2021 edition is special because there are two groups in the zone, instead of just one. 7 teams will be competing for two places in the zonal finals. Group E consists of Ravshan, Dordoi, and Ahal, while group F consists of Nasaf, Altyn Asyr, Khujand, and Alay.
Group E consisted of three teams which never make it through to the knockout stage, so it will be a history for them if they managed to win the group. Dordoi however have won two edition of AFC President’s Cup, the third-tier club competition which has disbanded, so they would eager to translate that prestige into the AFC Cup. Turkmenistani outfit, Ahal, will also look to win the group. They have excellent record against Dordoi, won 2 matches and 1 match ended with a draw. But they never met Ravshan, who won the Tajikistan Cup last year. Ravshan’s record in AFC Cup is very bad. From 12 games, they lose all matches and conceded 43 goals. But all the opponents they met before are from Middle East, so maybe they have a chance against fellow Central Asian teams.
In Group F, there are clearly two favorites to win the group, Nasaf and Altyn Asyr. Nasaf make a return to AFC Cup after 10 years. The last time they played in AFC Cup was in 2011, when they won the final against Al Kuwait. But Altyn Asyr also can’t be underesimated. They are two-time Central Zone champions in 2018 and 2019, and also the runner-up in 2018. While Nasaf has never met with other teams in the group, Altyn Asyr has superior records against the other two teams, Khujand and Alay. They won 5 and drawn 1 matches against them. Khujand and Alay won’t be expected to top the group, but their performance will be crucial to its respective country’s ranking.
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