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The AFC Cup Journey Begins for Safa and Nejmeh

The group stage of the 2017 AFC Cup – the “Asian” Europa League – will begin on February 20th. Safa and Nejmeh will represent Lebanon. They should win their first continental game if they want to advance to the knockout stage. 
Looking back at history, Safa and Nejmeh are two Lebanese giants in the AFC Cup: Nejmeh was the runner-up in 2005 while Safa was the runner-up in 2008. 

As for the moment, Lebanese clubs don’t have the licence which will allow them to be able to play in the Asian Champions League. 

The AFC Cup will be played this year in an entirely new format, being divided into AFC’s five zones: ASEAN, South Asia, East Asia, Central Asia and West Asia (Including Lebanon). 

The 12 West Asian clubs were divided in 3 groups of 4 teams each. The winners of each group and the best runner-up will advance to the West Asian Zone semi-finals. 
The winner of the West Asian Zone final will play the AFC Cup Final. 

Safa, Lebanese league champions, was drawn in Group B alongside Air Force Club, Iraq FA cup winners and the current AFC Cup champions, Al Hidd, Bahrain league champions, and Al Wahda, Syrian cup winners.  

Safa’s toughest opponent is obviously Air Force Club. It won’t be an easy game but Safa have enough talent to make the best out of it. The Nigerian striker Musa Kabiru, a well-known player in the Lebanese League, will play for Air Force Club.  

The first game of Safa will be against Air Force Club in Saida on February 20.  Players to watch: Zein Tahan, Ahmad Jalloul, Dominque Mendy, and Talla Ndaye. The latter has the most assists, 8, in the Lebanese Premier League. 

Match Details                                                 

Safa vs Air Force Club                             

Date: Monday, February 20                    

Time: 2:30pm (Beirut Time)                 

Venue: Saida Stadium (free entrance)    

TV: Live on Bein Sports 5                   

Social: #AFCCup2017 , @falebanon

As for Nejmeh, the Lebanon FA Cup winners, they were drawn in Group C alongside Al Wehdat, Jordan League Champions, Al Muharraq, Bahraini King’s Cup Winners, and Al Suhaiq, Oman Professional League runners-up.

Al Wehdat and Nejmeh Fans are well known in West Asia for their dedication to their respective clubs. The Lebanese-Jordanian Confrontation will not only be on the field, but in the stands also.

Nejmeh’s first game will be against Al Wehdat in Amman on February 21. Players to watch: Ahmad Taktouk, Nader Matar, Hassan Mohamad, and Akram Moghrabi. The latter is the top scorer of the Lebanese Premier League with ten goals.

Match Details                                                 

Al Wehdat vs Nejmeh                            

Date: Tuesday, February 21                     

Time: 6pm (Beirut Time)                       

Venue: King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman                                                      

TV: Live on Bein Sports 5                  

Social: #AFCCup2017 , @falebanon


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