DUSHANBE, May 18, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- Defending champions Regar-TadAZ are leaders in Group Ay after downing nine-man Taiwan Power Company 3-1 to stay on course for a semi-final berth in the AFC President’s Cup at the Dashrath Stadium on Saturday, According to the Football Federation of Tajikistan (FFT).

In another Group A fixture, Pakistan’s WAPDA held hosts Nepal Police Club goalless.

According to the website of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Tajikistan outfit enjoyed the upper hand after striker Lin Po-Yuan was redcarded in the 16th minute and Tajikistan international Ibrogim Rabimov opened their account in the 28th minute on a Jamshed Ismoilov freekick.

The Chinese Taipei side were reduced to nine-man in the 76th minute when referee Kenji Ogiya gave defender Tu Ming-Feng his marching orders. Three minutes later midfielder Fang Ching-Jen restored the parity for Chen Kuei-Jen’s team.

Two goals in the space of two minutes saw Regar earn full points. Marouf Rustamov (83) and substitute Sardorbek Eminov (85) sealed the fate of the Chinese Taipei team.

Regar is taking on Nepal Police Club today while WAPDA is clashing against Taiwan Power Company the same day.

The AFC President''s Cup is an annual international association football competition between domestic clubs sides run by the AFC.  Since the tournament began in 2005, the number of teams has increased from 8 to 11.

From editions 2005 to 2007, 8 clubs were placed into two groups of 4 teams. Both groups would be played in one host country.

Out of these two groups, the winners and runners up would advance to the semi-final stage, again played in that host country.

In 2008, the tournament was increased to 11 clubs.  Therefore a qualification round was created and 11 clubs split into 3 groups. Two groups containing 4 clubs with the 3rd group having 3 clubs.  Each group would then be played in a different country, each having their own host.  The group winners and the best runner up would then qualify for the finals stage, again to be hosted in another country and played at a later date.

Since the competition began, the 8 founding nations to take part have been, Tajikistan, Nepal, Taiwan, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Cambodia.  Since 2008, clubs from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Turkmenistan have been invited.  

Generally, clubs which represent each nation are the current champions of their domestic football leagues.

Other nations that could enter a team, but have yet to do so are: Brunei, Timor-Leste, Laos, Philippines, Guam, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, Palestine and Afghanistan.