AFC CUP 2021 GROUP F Preview

FK Khudjand (Tajikistan)

Nasaf Qarshi (Uzbekistan)

Altyn Asyr (Turkmenistan)

Alay Osh (Kyrgyzstan)

This Friday starts the action for the Central Asian zone for this group in which all matches will take place in Dushanbe and comprises all the former Soviet republics in Central Asia

The most notable fact is the return of Nasaf to the competition after 10 years of having played it and in which they won the title becoming the 1st Uzbek club to win an Asian club competition and will try to repeat the same performance like in 2011

It will be the 2nd time that Nasaf will face Turkmen opposition, the previous and only time was in the 2001-02 Asian Club Championship where they played against  FK Kopetdag Ashgabat and 1st time that they will play against a Kyrgyz team: Alay Osh

Alay returns after 2 years of absence, last year the competition was cancelled due to the pandemic

Alay have been playing in the AFC Cup since 2014 only to being absent in 2015 and last year as it was said, it will be the 1st time that they will play against an Uzbek club, it will be the 3rd time that they will face Altyn Asyr, the 1st time was in 2017 and the next one was one year later and in all these matches they lost against the Turkmens and they also have faced another Turkmen club, FK Ahal in 2018 and 2019.

It will be the 2nd time that they will face a Tajik club because in the 2017 they faced Istiklol who would reach the final in that year and in 2017 they shared the same group with compatriots Dordoi Bishkek, it was the 1st time in the AFC Cup history that 2 Kyrgyz clubs were placed in the same group, it was a milestone for Kyrgyz football because even in the now defunct AFC President´s Cup that didn´t happened as in that competition only the country champion represented their respective country

Altyn Asyr who were finalists in 2018 their best ever performance in the competition have played uninterruptedly since 2015, last year they had to have played the AFC Cup but this was cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic, they have established themselves as the driving force in Turkmen football having winning thir league since 2014 and thanks to this it has been possible to qualify for the competition and also thanks to the dissapearance of former champions and also former AFC President´s Cup champion FC HTTU who sadly were disbanded in 2016

They will face Alay again having played against them in 2017 and 2018, its the 1st time that will play against an Uzbek club and it will be a very interesting test for them to play against one of the most important teams of the continent and also a team from a country like Uzbekistan who is the most representative Central Asian country in AFC competitions with Pakhtakor and Bunyodkor having reached the ACL semifinals twice

Khudjand the group host will try to take advantage of that condition to fight for a place in the next stage but they will face strong opponents like former champions Nasaf and former finalists Altyn Asyr

It will be the 2nd time that they will place an Uzbek club, the prevous and only time so far was in the 1998-99 Asian Cup Winners Cup where they played against Pakhtakor Tashkent

In their balance against against Turkmen clubs they have played against Ahal and they will face Altyn Asyr again because they met each other in 2019 and against Kyrgyz clubs they have played against Dordoi Bishkek and Neftchi Kochkor-Ata

This is the match calendar

14 May

Nasaf vs Alay Osh

Altyn Asyr vs Khujand

17 May

Alay Osh vs Altyn Asyr

Khudjand vs Nasaf

20 May

Nasaf vs Altyn Asyr

Khujand vs Alay Osh

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