Ceres, Kaya battle AFC foes
FILIPINO clubs Ceres-La Salle and Kaya seek breakthrough victories when they battle separate foes in the AFC Cup Tuesday night.
Kaya makes its home debut against Maldives side New Radiant at 7:30 p.m. at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, while Ceres plays its first away match of the competition against Sheikh Jamal Dhanmodi in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Ceres hopes to pick up maximum points this time after forging a 2-2 draw with premier Malaysian side Selangor at Panaad Stadium two weeks ago.
The game in Dhaka is part of a tough two-game stretch for the Bacolod side, which also faces Tampines Rovers in Singapore next week.
Sheikh Jamal dropped a 0-4 decision to Tampines in its debut two weeks ago.
A 0-1 loss to Hong Kong side Kitchee in its debut two weeks ago at Mong Kok Stadium hardly dented Kaya’s confidence.
And the Filipino side likes its chances against New Radiant.
“I think we’re very confident, but we also have respect for each and everyone in our group,” said Kaya midfielder OJ Porteria. “I think we had a great match in Hong Kong and we’re just going to use that momentum against New Radiant and hopefully we’ll get the win.”
New Radiant’s coach Iordan Stoykov was so impressed with Kaya’s performance against Kitchee that the Bulgarian believes the Filipino side is the best team in the group.
“Others will just be fighting for second place,” said Stoykov, who steered the side to the AFC Cup semifinals in 2005.
New Radiant drew with Balestier Khalsa, 2-2, in Singapore two weeks ago.
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