JSW Bengaluru to face FC Istiklol in AFC Cup Inter-Zone Final

Pyongyang: Last year’s AFC Cup runners-up JSW Bengaluru will face Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol, themselves former finalists in 2015, in the AFC Inter-Zone Final after a goalless draw against 4.25 SC in the DPR Korea capital on Wednesday saw the Indian club through 3-0 on aggregate.

Bengaluru had enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win in the first meeting in Karnataka state last month thanks to goals from Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh and Lenny Rodrigues, but there were no such fireworks at May Day Stadium with both teams drawing a blank in front of goal.

With the onus on the DPR Korea club to attack, the closest they came was 15 minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty kick. The chance to reduce the deficit went wanting, though, as India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh successfully preserved his clean sheet.

The result means Bengaluru will travel to Tajikistan on September 27 before they host FC Istiklol in the decisive Inter-Zone Final second leg at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on October 18.

The winner of that match will face either Syria’s Al Wahda or Air Force Club of Iraq in the 2017 AFC Cup final on November 4.

Photo: Lagardère Sports

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