New edition of the elite Asian competition started last week with first qualifying round matches. Last I-League participation ended on first obstacle as Chennai City lost at home to Al Riffa. From next season ISL will represent India. Today we saw two upsets in second qualifying round - Istiqlol Dushanbe defeated Loko Toshkent away and Ceres Negros won at Thai Port. Iranian FA threatens to pull out their teams if AFC keeps on their plan to ban Iranian teams from hosting matches due to insecurity. Two matches (with Iranian teams) of second qualifying round were not played today: Esteghlal - Al Kuwait and Shahr Khodro - Al Riffa. Bunyodkor will host Al-Zawraa tomorrow. This is the last edition with 32 teams (in competition proper) as in 2021 comes 40-team tournament. Teams like Istiqlol and Ceres will qualify directly to group stages then, without need to win multiple away matches vs teams from richer/stronger leagues. [known] last qualifying round matchups (next week): WEST Al Ahli Jeddah - Istiqlol EAST Seoul - Kedah Shanghai SIPG - Buriram Tokyo - Ceres Negros Kashima Antlers - Melbourne Victory Group stage play starts on February 10.