Busmen brace for tough Cambodians
BACOLOD CITY—Following a memorable AFC Champions League qualifying run last month, Ceres Negros coach Risto Vidakovic knows his team can’t afford to let up as it braces for a tough title defense of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Asean zone crown starting on Tuesday.
Armed with more experience, the Busmen open their campaign in Group F against Cambodian champions Boeung Ket with another huge crowd expected at Panaad Stadium here. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
With Global Cebu losing to Thanh Hoa of Vietnam in its AFC Cup opener on Saturday in Hanoi, the Busmen hope to give the country a breakthrough win in this year’s competition.
Home United of Singapore and Shan United of Myanmar are also in Group F with Ceres, which went on a magical qualifying run last month in the top-tier Champions League, stunning Brisbane Roar of Australia and delivering a creditable showing in a 0-2 loss to Tianjin Quanjian of China in the playoff.
Vidakovic refused to make a huge deal out of their last two games against strong opposition, pointing out that the most important game will be against the Cambodians.
“It doesn’t mean anything to us and we have to move forward and focus on the next game,” said the Serbian. “We can’t go [in the AFC Cup] with overconfidence. All our opponents deserve our respect.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.