Dempo’s AFC quarter-final opponents to be decided Saturday

May 23rd, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) India’s Dempo Sporting Club will know their quarter-final opponents in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup after the draw is held at the headquarters of the Asian body in Kuala Lumpur, Saturday. Dempo reached the last eight stage of the tournament by the virtue of finishing second in Group A in the league stage. The draw for the AFC Champions League will also be done simultaneously.

For the AFC Cup 2008, this is the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2004 that five berths have been cornered by South Asian and South-East Asian teams. Apart from India’s Dempo, there are two Malaysian teams Perak and league champions Kedah. There also are two teams from Singapore - the Home United and Singapore Armed Forces.

With the winners and runners-up of this edition guaranteed a shot at AFC Champions League 2009 glory via play-offs, the competition looks set to take a keen edge no matter what the pairings.

Action on the pitch resumes with the home-and-away quarter-finals slated for Sept 16 and 23, followed by the semi-finals Oct 7 and 21. The finals will be held Oct 31 and Nov 7.

For the Champions League, a single draw will take place for the two-legged (home and away) quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. Teams from the same country will be kept apart in the quarter-final stage which kicks off with the first leg Sept 17, followed by the second leg on September 24. The semi-finals take place Oct 8 and Oct 22. The final is scheduled for Nov 5 and Nov 12.

AFC Cup:

The teams: Muharraq (Bahrain), Safa (Lebanon), Al Nahda (Oman), Home United and Singapore Armed Forces FC (Singapore), Dempo SC (India), Kedah and Perak (both Malaysia)

AFC Champions League:

The teams: Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan), Kuruvchi (Uzbekistan), Saipa (Iran), Al Karama (Syria), Al Qadsia (Kuwait), Adelaide United (Australia), Kashima Antlers (Japan) and Gamba Osaka (Japan)

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