Muscat: Al Nahda Club delegation has arrived in Manama, Bahrain capital, geared up to compete against Al Riffa in the first leg of the semi-finals of the West Zone in the 2023-2024 AFC Cup.
This marks Al Nahda Club's second appearance in the knockout stages out of four participations, after clinching top spot in group A during the initial round. Notably, they reached semi-finals of the AFC Cup back in 2008. The second leg is scheduled to be hosted by Muscat at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in February 19.
Meanwhile, Al Riffa Club secured their spot in the West Zone semi-finals for the fifth time in their six participations by leading group C. They will kick off the first leg against Al Nahda at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Manama on Monday.
Al Riffa's journey to the semi-finals has seen challenges, notably falling short in previous attempts to reach the final in 2010 and last year.
The second semi-final in West Zone sees Lebanese Champions Al Ahed, winners of the 2019 edition, facing Iraqi side Al Kahraba. The first leg will be played at a neutral venue at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, on February 13.
Al Ahed has qualified for the knockout stages for seventh time in their history, participating in the tournament for the eleventh time, with this being their fourth appearance in the West Zone semi-finals since the current format was implemented in 2017.
Al Ahed is the only Lebanese team to have won the AFC Cup title. They qualified for the knockout stages as the best second-placed team in the West Zone groups and will face Al Kahraba, who are making their debut in the tournament and topped Group B.the second leg set on February 20th at Basra International Stadium.
The winners of the semi-final round will progress to the West Zone final, scheduled for April 16, and 23, to determine the contender for the 2023-2024 AFC Cup final slated for May 5.