Filipino clubs Ceres La Salle FC and Kaya FC will start their campaigns in the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2016 today.
The two clubs, after ruling the two major competitions of the United Football League (UFL) last season, will be representing the country in the continental football champion-ship.
Housed in Group E, Ceres La Salle is grouped with Singapore’s Tampines Rovers FC, Selangor FA of Malaysia and Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club of Bangladesh while Kaya is clustered in Group F with Kitchee SC of Hong Kong, Balestier Khalsa FC of Singapore and New Radiant SC of Maldives.
Ceres squad will kick-off their AFC Cup campaign with a home game at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod against Selangor FA at 7 p.m. today.
Coming off three consecutive victories in the ongoing elimination round of the 2016 UFL Cup, Ceres head coach Ali Go said that his wards are confident ahead of their interna-tional match.
“We are continuously having our trainings every day in order to make sure that we have the cohesion. This is very important. We can’t afford to make mistake against Selangor or else they will punish us,” Go said.
The reigning local league champions have bolstered their preparations for the AFC Cup during the off-season by enlisting new players plus an international training camp in Sin-gapore earlier this year.
Ceres’ fortified lineup will be led by Filipino-German Stephan Schrock, Kevin Ingresso together with high scoring striker Spanish Adrian Gallardo Valdes, who is returning to the club after a short stint in Spain.
The team is also expected to rely on the prowess of Azkals standouts Martin Steuble, Pat-rick Reichelt, Manny Ott, Paul Mulders, Carli De Murga and Juani Guirado.
Meanwhile, Kaya FC will play in an away game against Kitchee SC at the Mong Kok Stadium in Hong Kong at 8 p.m. today.
Kaya is fresh from two straight victories against Laos FC, 6-1, and Agila MSA FC, 5-1.
The team, under the tutelage of coach Chris Greatwich, will be led by the duo of Azkal stars OJ Porteria and Kenshiro Daniels with support from Under-23 standouts Charlie Beaton and Shirmar Felongco.