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The Cup draw: Reviewing the AFC Cup format & Singapore Cup draws

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

By: Confaderal | 24 August 2023

A soccer player gets fouled and is writhing in pain

Look at the picture above. The football player is in pain. That's how I felt when the draw for both of the cups Hougang is in, came out.

Also painful to know that Hougang is the sole representative in the AFC cup competition thanks to Phnom Penh Crown beating the other Singapore team during the playoffs. Once again, it is up to Hougang United. This will be a short post, so bear with me.

Singapore Cup

In the Singapore Cup draw, we are in Group B along with Balestier Khalsa, Lion City Sailors and Tanjong Pagar United. Not exactly an easy group, but also, at least we have one less game to play. This could give the boys more days for recovery as we also participate in the AFC Cup competition.

Dates to take note of in the SG cup:

Group stages - 24th to 26th September

Semi- Final (2 legs) - 2nd & 6th December

Final & Third place - 9th December

The general feeling: Our chance to continue continental football next year is only through winning this. We have a fair shout to get out of the group stages, but so do the other teams in group B. If we take our foot off the pedal and are complacent, we might not be able to defend our title! The good thing is that the top two teams from the group will advance, we have a 25% chance!

Prediction: Hougang to go through to the semi-finals.


Meanwhile, in the AFC Cup draw, we are the sole representative of Singapore in this tournament. We are drawn into Group H with V-league1 club Haiphong FC, Malaysian Super League team Sabah FC, and Indonesian Liga 1 team PSM Makassar. This group is already a tough group where everyone is even or better than us. Plus, the format for AFC cup is different. Below is the breakdown.

AFC cup's format (step 1)

a. Group winner of each group in ASEAN will advance

AFC cup's format (step 2)

AFC cup's format (step 3)

AFC cup's format (step 4)

AFC cup's format (step 5)

AFC cup's format (step 6)

AFC cup's format (step 7)

**Pictured below is an example of the format after the group stages from 2019.

Dates to take note of in the AFC cup(also reflected in our calendar in the "Upcoming" section):

Group stages -

21 Sept vs Sabah FC(@Sabah)

05 Oct vs Haiphong FC(@Hougang)

25 Oct vs PSM Makassar(@Makassar)

09 Nov vs PSM Makassar(@Hougang)

30 Nov vs Sabah FC(@Hougang)

14 Dec vs Haiphong FC(@Haiphong)

Zonal semis - 12 to 13th February 2024

Zonal final - 22nd February 2024

Interzone semis - 6 to 14th March 2024

Interzone final - 17 & 24th April 2024

Final - 5th May 2024

The general feeling: We are hopeful that our boys will perform to their maximum in this cup competition. Haiphong FC and Sabah will be a tasty affair HOWEVER, our squad depth is thin and knowing that the ASEAN zone will have lots of games compared to the other groups, we hope no one gets injured. Let's not forget we have the Singapore cup too.

Prediction: With a mix of strong A-league teams in the AFC cup competitions now, an evenly-match Group H, I think that Hougang will have a very very hard task to make it to the next stage. This is also considering that the "no. 2" teams of each group have the capability of racking up double digits. All the best boys! #1H1H🐆🐆

How do you think Hougang will fare in the SG Cup?

  • Out at the group stage

  • Into the semi-finals

  • Hougang will go to the final...and lose

  • 2023 SG cup champions!

Can Hougang get out of the AFC cup group stage?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Maybe

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