April 25 SC to arrive today
North Korean league champions April 25 SC will arrive in Dhaka today for the first leg of the inter-zonal playoff semifinal against Abahani, which will be held at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on August 21.
April 25 are the most successful club in North Korean football, having won 17 national championships thus far, including the one they won last year.
While Abahani emerged champions of Group E, also featuring Chennaiyin FC, Minerva Punjab and Manang Marshiyangdi Club, April 25 got the better of two Hong Kong Clubs and one club from Taiwan in Group I.
The North Korean outfit had reached the inter-zonal playoff final last year where they lost against Altyn Asyr of Turkmenistan on away goals.
Abahani, meanwhile, have reached the knockout stage of this second-tier club competition of Asia for the first time and are looking to make it further.
While April 25 are expected to be tough opponents, one factor that might work in Abahani’s favour is that they have four quality foreign players in their squad while their opposition team only features home-grown players.
The second leg of the semifinal will be held on August 28 in Pyongyang.