The AFC Cup is an annual association football competition, run by the Asian Football Confederation since 2004. The AFC Cup is a second tier competition related to the AFC Champions League that featured 18 teams initially.
The first AFC Cup holder in 2004 was the Syrian team Al-Jaish after they defeated their fellow Syrian opponents Al-Wahda on away goals. The first edition of the tournament took place at the Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus, Syria. As the number of teams participating increased, each team took turns to host the following seasons.
Team With the Most AFC Cup Wins
So far, there are two teams honored as the most successful clubs in the competition’s history. They are the Kuwaiti football club Al-Kuwait and the Iraqi football club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya with three AFC Cup titles each. Followed by three wins, the only team to win the AFC Cup twice is the Jordan based football club Al-Faisaly in a successive manner in 2005 and 2006.
Apart from a successful club, the most successful nation in the tournament is Kuwait with four titles, out of which three have been won in a consecutive manner (2012, 2013 and 2014).
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya – the first ever club to win the AFC Cup in three consecutive occasions
The Iraqi football club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya is the reigning champion after defeating Altyn Asyr 2-0 in the final to win the 2018 AFC Cup. By winning the 2018’s AFC Cup, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya has become the first ever club to win the trophy on three successive editions in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Altyn Asyr has reached the runner-up position for the first time in 2018 and has not won the AFC Cup till date.
Complete List of the AFC Cup Winners
Since the inception of the AFC Cup tournament in 2004, the finalists of each season have been dominated by clubs from West Asia until 2015 when the Malaysian team Johor Darul Ta’zim from East Asia entered the finals and won the competition’s title.
Erbil, Istiklol, and Al-Quadsia are the three teams to reach the AFC Cup Runner-up position twice with Al-Quadsia having won the 2014 AFC Cup title and the other two teams have not yet been honored as winners. The table shared below is the complete list of the AFC Cup winners.
|Year||Home team||Country||Away team||Country||Score|
|2007||Shabab Al-Ordon||Jordan||Al-Faisaly||Jordan||0–1 (Away)|
|2008||Al-Muharraq||Bahrain||Safa Beirut||Lebanon||5–1 (Home)|
|2015||Johor Darul Ta’zim||Malaysia||Istiklol||Tajikistan||1–0|
|2016||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||Iraq||Bengaluru FC||India||1–0|
|2018||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||Iraq||Altyn Asyr||Turkmenistan||2–0|