Are Viettel or Kuala Lumpur City looking the likelier to meet PSM Makassar in AFC Cup ASEAN Zone final?

One team is already through to the AFC Cup 2022 ASEAN Zone final.

After coasting to a two-goal lead in Tuesday's first semifinal, PSM Makassar of Indonesia then had to survive late scare as Malaysia Super League outfit Kedah Darul Aman hit back before ultimately holding out for a 2-1 win, in a game which saw them finish with just nine men.

Having reached the same stage back in 2019, PSM are now through to their first zonal final in the competition but will they be joined on Wednesday by Vietnamese contenders Viettel? Or Malaysia's second representatives in Kuala Lumpur City?

Here, we take a closer look at the two teams vying to advance to the Aug. 24 decider.


After making their AFC Champions League debut last term, Viettel have followed it up with some impressive displays in the AFC Cup so far.

Given their recent top-tier continental experience, where they managed to pick up two wins over Philippine minnows Kaya FC-Iloilo, the Vietnamese outfit were expected to go far in the ASEAN Zone and they have not disappointed yet.

They were the only Southeast Asian team with a perfect record in the group stage, picking up dominant 5-1 and 5-2 victories over Young Elephants and Hougang United respectively along the way.

Their continental adventure should also offer Viettel some welcome respite from what has been a trying domestic campaign this year, with the club currently 7th in the 13-team V.League 1 and ten points off the pace nearing the halfway mark of the season.

And with Brazilians Pedro Paulo -- the tournament's current top scorer -- and Geovane Magno leading the line, and ably supported by Vietnam internationals Nguyen Hoang Duc, Bui Tien Dung and Nguyen Duc Chien, Viettel have every reason to believe they have what it takes to become ASEAN Zone champions in AFC Cup 2022.

Kuala Lumpur City

Having endured decades of disappointment following their glorious era of the 1980s, KL City announced their revival last year when they upset JDT to win the Malaysia Cup.

That triumph -- their first major silverware since an FA Cup win in 1999 -- earned them a maiden AFC Cup appearance this season, although they did previously feature in the ACL when it was still known as the Asian Club Championship.

Having been drawn alongside PSM in Group H, the City Boys only had to negotiate their way through two ties in the previous stage and also head into the zonal semifinals unbeaten after a win and a draw.

There is enough quality in the KL City squad to suggest they can go further, headlined by the foreign trio of Paulo Josue, Romel Morales and Giancarlo Gallifuoco and also including seasoned locals such as Akram Mahinan, Hadin Azman and even the now-38-year-old Safee Sali, who was one of the region's most-feared strikers in his peak.

But like compatriots Kedah, KL City have been inconsistent in the MSL this season even though they currently sit fourth on the table, and they will have to be at their best in order to see off Viettel and advance to the ASEAN Zone final