FC Dordoi Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
FC Ahal (Turkmenistan)
Ravshan Kulob (Tajikistan)
THE AFC CUP IS BACK!
This Friday starts the participation of the Central Asian teams in the tournament with Dordoi being the favorite to qualify as they are the group hosts and will look to finally progress to the next stage since they started playing in the AFC Cup after many years playing in the now defunct AFC President´s Cup and in which this year marks 15 years that they won their 1st major trophy, their 1st continental honour and the 1st one for Kyrgyz football too.
In a group that reminds me the AFC President´s Cup group format it will be the first time that Dordoi will play against Ahal and Ravshan
Dordoi has been used to play against the big teams from the other Central asian countries (former Soviet republics) Istiklol and Regar TadAZ from Tajikistan, Balkan, Altyn Asyr and FC HTTU Ashgabat
Dordoi and Ahal will meet again, the last and only time both played each other was 7 years ago at the AFC Cup preliminaty round in which Ahal won 1-0 in Ashgabat but in relation to the other encounters it will be the 1st time that Dordoi will play against Ravshan and 1st time that Ravshan will face Ahal
Ravshan makes their return to the competition after 7 years of absence, last time they played in group A
It will be the 1st time that Ravshan will play against a team from another Central Asian country (former Soviet republic) so far they have face arab teams thanks to their 2 appeareances in the AFC Cup
It will be the 2nd time that Ahal will play against a team from Kyrgyzstan after they faced Alay Osh in the 2018 AFC Cup and will be also the 2nd time they will face a team from Turkmenistan and 3rd time that will face a team from Tajikistan as they played against Altyn Asyr and Istiklol and Khudjand respectively in previous AFC Cup editions, against Khudjand was 2 years ago, aganst Istiklol was in 2015 and 2018 and against Altyn Asyr was 3 years ago.
This is the calendar
14 May: Ahal vs Ravshan
17 May: Dordoi vs Ahal
20 May: Dordoi vs Ravshan