Millennium Post

Bengaluru face N Korean side in AFC Cup knock-out stage

Last year's runners-up Bengaluru FC will face April 25 Sports Club of North Korea in their two-legged inter-zone semifinals play-off of the AFC Cup in August and September.

Bengaluru will host the North Korean side in the first leg of their inter-zone play-off semi-final on August 23, before heading to Pyongyang for the second leg on September 13.

This was announced at the draw of the knockout stages of the AFC Cup, the continent's second tier club competition, in Kuala Lumpur.

If Bengaluru win the tie, they will take on the winner of the other inter-zone semifinals play-off between FC Istiklol of Tajikistan and ASEAN Zonal champion in the inter-zone final. The winner of this inter-zone final will, in the grand finale, take on the winner of the west Asian zone final between reigning champions Air Force Club of Iraq and Al Wahda of Syria.

The AFC completely changed the tournament rules regarding group and knockout stages this season.

If Bengaluru can go all the way to the title round, the Karnataka capital will be the venue for the summit clash as the 2017 AFC Cup final will be hosted by the winner of the inter-zone play-off on November 4. Bengaluru had booked a knockout stage berth after finishing as Group E winners.
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