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It is Bengaluru vs Istiklol in the AFC Cup inter-zonal final

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Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru, September 13: AFC Cup runners-up Bengaluru FC entered the inter-zonal final with a 3-0 aggregate after the return leg of their semifinal against North Korean club 4.25SC ended in a goalless draw.

The Blues rode on their 3-0 win from the opening leg to march to the title clash where they will take on Tajikistan club FC Istiklol in a two-legged tie.

Blues custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was adjudged man of the match in the tie held at Pyongyang's May Day Stadium.

Encomiums puored in from the aficionados and fans alike for the team who had made it to the final of the continental competition last year where they went down 0-1 to Iraq's Air Force club in the match held at the Qatar's Suheim bin Hamad Stadium.

Bengaluru will travel to Tajikistan on September 27 before they host Istiklol in the return leg at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on October 18.

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

Earlier FC Istiklol entered the final following their 1-1 draw against Filipino side Ceres Negros at Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium.

With a handy 4-0 lead from the home leg, the Tajik club completed a 5-1 victory on aggregate.

Spanish defender Manuel Herrera headed home from Manuel Ott's corner to give Ceres a glimmer of hope. That hope was extinguished, however, when Dmitry Barkov's superb volley drew the 2015 AFC Cup runners-up level just before half-time and all but ended the tie as a contest.

Story first published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 16:14 [IST]
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