City Boys continue fairytale run, make it into AFC Cup final

Kuala Lumpur goalkeeper Kevin Ray Mendoza, making his first start in the AFC Cup, was superb in goal, making six magnificent saves in regulation time.

PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur continued their fairytale run in the AFC Cup after they beat PFC Sogdiana 5-3 via a penalty shoot in the Inter-Zone final.

The game ended 0-0 after regulation and extra time at the Sogdiyana Stadium in Jizzakh, Uzbekistan, on Wednesday (Oct 5).

In normal time, Sogdiana was the side with the better chances and possession but could not find a way past Kuala Lumpur’s sturdy defence.

Kuala Lumpur goalkeeper Kevin Ray Mendoza, making his first start in the AFC Cup, was superb in making six saves during that period.

The Lambert brothers - Ryan and Declan - also impressed with their defensive contribution and high energy work rate to frustrate the Uzbekistani club.

In extra time, the game became cagey as both sides could not come up with a potent chance to break the deadlock.

The game entered a penalty shootout to decide who gets to the final to face Omani club Al-Seeb on Oct 22 at the Cheras Football Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur captain Paulo Josue scored the first penalty to beat goalkeeper Shirinboy Abdullaev. Midfielder Romel Morales scored the second, while winger Hadin Azman buried the third.

Midfielder Akram Mahinan scored the fourth penalty, and the winning penalty was taken by defender Giancarlo Gallifuoco.

Javokhir Qakhramanov got the ball rolling for Sogdiana by scoring the first penalty.

Mendoza continued his fine performance when he saved Sogdiana’s second penalty taken by Shakhboz Jurabekov.

Luka Cermelj scored the third for Sogdiana but it proved too little too late as Gallifuoco brought the City Boys to the final of the continental competition.

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