MANILA, Philippines- Ceres-La Salle FC and Kaya FC are set to test their mettle on the international stage as they join Groups E and F respectively of the 2016 AFC Cup as officially drawn, Thursday, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
United Football League reigning champions Ceres-La Salle will face Tampines/Warriors (SIN), Selangor (MAS), and Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi (BAN) in Group E, while debuting Kaya FC is set to clash against Kitchee (HK), Balestier Khalsa (SIN), and New Radiant (MDV).
For the first time, the Philippines will have two teams compete in the group stage of the AFC Cup next year due to unused spots in East Asia.
The Official draw for the #AFCCup2016 - East Asia pic.twitter.com/GpVdDgNz7Y — AFC Cup (@AFCCup) December 10, 2015
Bacolod-based Ceres booked an outright ticket to the tourney due to its victory in the UFL league last year while Kaya secured a spot in the qualification round after bringing home the UFL Cup title.
Compared to Ceres, Kaya will have to take a longer route in surpassing the group stage as they face last year’s quarter finalists Hong Kong’s Kitchee FC which lost their finals hopes to Erbil FC of Iraq, 2-3.
The two squads will be given 3 home games each. Ceres is expected to play at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City while Kaya hopes to stage their home matches at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Maziya Sports and Recreation Club of Maldives defeated Ceres-La Salle FC last year, 1-0, and the Philippine squad has all its hopes up in doing better this year. – Rappler.com