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Kuala Lumpur: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Iraq’s Air Force Club after they defeated Syria’s Al Wahda 1-0 to clinch the first-ever AFC Cup West Zone Champions crown.

A dramatic added-on time winner from Amjed Radhi ensured the defending champions’ return to the final after narrowly edging past Al Wahda on away goals following a 2-2 aggregate score in the West Zone Final in Doha on Tuesday.

"On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to congratulate Air Force Club for displaying utmost consistency to claim the West Zone Champions title. This victory reflects the commendable efforts undertaken by the Iraqi Football Association to ensure the success of their players and clubs.

“The AFC Cup has produced some captivating moments this season and continues to excite and engage with our passionate fans, as espoused by the AFC Vision and Mission. I must also thank all our participating clubs for performing admirably and I wish our remaining three clubs in the race for the AFC Cup title the very best of luck.”

With the new AFC Cup format seeing the West Zone Champions gain direct passage into the competition’s final on November 4, 2017, Air Force Club will defend their AFC Cup title against the winners of the Inter-Zone final, which is reaching its climax.

After several intensive rounds of competition, Central Zone Champions and 2015 finalists FC Istiklol from Tajikistan will host South Zone Champions and last year’s AFC Cup runners-up JSW Bengaluru FC from India in the first leg on September 27, before travelling to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium for the decisive Inter-Zone Final second leg on October 18.

Please click here for the latest AFC Cup 2017 updates and results.

Photo: Lagardère Sports