Match: Al Ahed v Air Force Club
Date: 18 October, Tuesday
Time: 8:30pm SGT/6pm IST/1:30pm BST
Venue: Sports City Stadium, Beirut
Competition: 2016 AFC Cup
TV Coverage: In Singapore, the TV coverage of the clash between Al Ahed and Air Force Club will be on Fox Sports.
Al Ahed host Air Force Club in the 2016 AFC Cup semi-final second leg at the Sports City Stadium in Beirut on 18 October.
The hosts have the edge over the Iraqi side after they played a 1-1 draw in the semi-final first leg in Doha last month. Despite conceding an early goal, the Lebanese champions fought back with an equaliser from Hussein Dakik in the second half and snatched an away goal advantage as well.
Ahed will also take confidence from their performance in the ongoing season of the Lebanese Premier League. They crushed league rivals Al Akhaa Al Ahli 5-0 on Friday to complete their third straight win of the season. They have also netted a total of nine league goals so far and have conceded only once.
A lot will depend on striker Ahmad Zreik, who leads Ahed's goal-scoring list with five goals in the tournament on Tuesday. He is likely to be joined by Mohammad Kdouh, who netted a brace against on Friday, up front. Midfielder Zaid Zain, who has impressed since arriving to Beirut ahead of the ongoing league season, will also look to carry forward his domestic form into the AFC Cup.
Despite conceding nine goals in the group stages of the tournament, the Lebanese side have been impressive in the knockout stages. They have scored eight goals against but have conceded only one.
Defender Hussein Zein's return will be a big boost to their backline for the second leg. However, goalkeeper Muhammad Hammoud is likely to replace Hassan Bittar, who gifted the opening goal to their semi-final opponents in Doha.
Coach Robert Jaspert maintained he was happy with the first leg result and added his side would be boosted the home support on Tuesday.
However, Jaspert's side cannot afford to rely on their away goal advantage much as Air Force Club successfully overcame a similar situation in the quarter-final clashes against Syria's Al Jaish.
After conceding an away goal, the Iraqi side demolished their quarter-final opponents 4-0 in the second leg to book their semi-final berth.
Striker Hammadi Ahmed, who returns for the second leg after missing the Doha match due to suspension, will add the firepower to Air Force Club's attack. The Iraqi international is the tournament's leading scorer with 14 goals and has scored in all the eight matches he has played so far.
Air Force Club coach Basim Qasim, who rued missing his go-to-man in the first leg, will be more than happy to have him back in the lineup for the all important Tuesday's clash.
The Iraqi club have shown a lot of promise in their maiden AFC Cup appearance and are trying to become the second only side from the country to reach the final. However, Tuesday's battle will test their desire as Ahed have hardly put a foot wrong at home in the ongoing tournament.
Singapore: Fox Sports Singapore
Malaysia: Fox Sports Malaysia
Lebanon: beIN Sports Arabia
Iraq: beIN Sports Arabia
Indonesia: Fox Sports Indonesia
Thailand: Bugaboo TV
Myanmar: Bugaboo TV
China: Star Sports 2 China
Possible XI: Muhammad Hammoud; Khalil Khamis, Hussein Dakik, Hussein Al Zein, Jamal Khalife; Haytham Faour, Hassan Chaito, Jad Zain, Mehdi Fahes; Ahmad Zreik, Mohamad Kdouh
Air Force Club
Possible XI: Fahab Talib; Samal Saeed, Ali Bahjat Fadhil, Saad Natiq, Sameh Saeed Mjabel; Hamid Mido, Osama ali, Zahir Midani, Bashar Rasan Bonyan; Amjad Radhi, Hammadi Ahmed