AFC Champions League Playoff: Zob Ahan vs Aizawl FC: Start time, live streaming information
I-League champion Aizawl FC is set to enter the realm of Asian football with the playoff fixture of the 2018 AFC Champions League (ACL) on January 30, 2018. The Mizoram side will be up against Iranian club Zob Ahan FC in the match that will take place at the Foolad Shahr Stadium located in the Isfahan Province of Iran.
Aizawl FC created history last season when they became the first team from the Northeast region of India to win the prestigious I-League trophy. They achieved this historic feat under the then-coach Khalid Jamil, who has now moved to East Bengal. Aizawl FC are now coached by Portuguese Paulo Menezes.
Zob Ahan FC play in the Iranian top division Persian Gulf Pro League and finished fourth last season to qualify for the AFC Champions League playoffs. Zob Ahan FC have been the runners-up in the 2010 AFC Champions League.
If Aizawl FC manage to beat Zob Ahan FC side in the playoff match, they will be placed in Group B of the AFC Champions League along with Qatari side Al Duhail, Emirati club Al Wahda and Uzbekistani club PFC Lokomotiv as per the draws that took place in December 2017. A win for Aizawl FC will mean that Mohun Bagan will get an entry to the AFC Cup Group E.
In the case of a loss for the Indian club in the playoff, they will get a direct entry into the Group E of the AFC Cup. In the AFC Cup, they would get drawn with Maldives' champions New Radiant S.C, the league winner of Bangladesh League and another playoff winner.
Aizawl FC will be equipped with just three foreigners for the Iran trip due to Kareem Nurain's injury and Ivorian Leonce Dodoz's visa problems. Menezes will have Afghan defender Masih Saighani, Romania's Andrei Ionescu and Liberian Alfred Jaryan at this disposal for the tough away fixture.
Aizawl FC will have a challenging outing against Zob Ahan FC, who are in good domestic form and harsh weather conditions could prove to be a test for the Indian champions.
Information related to the match:
Tournament - AFC Champions League
Venue - Foolad Shahr Stadium, Isfahan Province, Iran
Date - January 30, 2018
Time - 7 pm IST
Livestream - AFC Hub Facebook Page