*** ----> Riffa, Al Nahda semi-final clash confirmed | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Riffa, Al Nahda semi-final clash confirmed

TDT | Manama                                                     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Riffa Club’s pairing with Al Nahda of Oman in the West Zonal semi-finals of the 2023/2024 AFC Cup has been confirmed, following the official draw for the teams that progressed into the knockout stage of this season’s competition.

The draw took place Thursday at the Asian Football Confederation House in Kuala Lumpur. Riffa officials Salman Al Mawawada Ahmed Al Kooheji attended the event. Riffa and Nahda face off in one final four pairing, while Al Ahed of Lebanon and Al Kahrabaa Club of Iraq go head-to-head in the other.

The West Zonal semi-finals and final will be two-leg ties, with the last four matches scheduled for February 12, 13 and February 19, 20. The final will be on April 16 and 23. Riffa booked their place in this phase after finishing as winners of Group C in the AFC Cup’s preliminary round.

Nahda, on the other hand, were the top-ranked squad from Group A. The draw also set up the pairings for the Inter-Zone semi-finals in March and Inter-Zone final in April for teams outside the West zone.

FC Abdysh-Ata of Kyrgyzstan take on Taichung Futuro of Taipei while Odisha FC of India face the champions of the ASEAN Zone final. The semis in the ASEAN Zone are between Macarthur FC of Australia and Sabah FC of Malaysia, and between Central Coast Mariners of Australia and Phnom Penh Crown of Cambodia. That will set the stage for this season’s AFC Cup final, which is scheduled for May of next year.

The AFC Cup is the annual continental club competition of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the continent’s top teams not competing in the AFC Champions League. Riffa are the lone Bahraini outfit in this year’s tournament. They are looking to become only the second club from the Kingdom to win the tournament title. Muharraq won the AFC Cup twice in the past, in 2008 and in 2021, and also finished as runners-up in 2006.