US gaming

PFL groups kick off AFC Champions League campaigns

Kaya FC Iloilo vs. Garelli FC. –Jihan Ivy P. Caparros via Copa Paulino Alcantara

MANILA, Philippines — The next three days will see the Philippine Football League’s perennial contenders test their mettle against some of their counterparts from the Asian region when they kick off their respective continental campaigns on home soil.

PFL champion Kaya-Iloilo hosts Chinese Super League side Shandong Taishan at 8 p.m. at Rizal Memorial Stadium on Tuesday for its final foray into the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.

“We have worked hard over the last six weeks and there is definitely a lot of joy within the team,” Kaya coach Colum Curtis said ahead of the country’s first Champions League match.

Stallion-Laguna, meanwhile, will open their own passage to Asia the following day in the second-tier AFC Cup at Binan Soccer Stadium against Indonesia’s Bali United at 4 p.m.



Terrence Romeo ‘assured’ hopes to meet challenges of Gilas’ return


Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross added to Gilas roster for Asian Games


Gilas Pilipinas, the “muscle” Ange Kouame under the harness again

Rizal Memorial will also be the venue for Dynamic Herb Cebu’s personal AFC Cup debut on Thursday when they take on Cambodian champions Phnom Penh Crown in a match that kicks off at 8 p.m.

The stays at AFC come after all three clubs qualified for the quarter-finals of the Copa Paulino Alcantara on home soil.

“It’s something we’ve been looking forward to doing for a very long time and for it to come to fruition, it’s really good,” said Stallions coach Ernie Nierras, who earned the AFC Cup berth after completing third of the PFL season.

Cebu was also able to book its place in the AFC Cup, a breakthrough feat for the Central Visayas team that was only established in 2021.

But the Light Giants have to play their home games in Manila because their home ground in Talisay City, the Dynamic Herb Sports Advanced, did not meet AFC standards.

“We’re going in the right direction, we obviously have a few more days to prepare for them,” coach Joshua Schirmer said. “We have almost recovered from our previous matches in (Copa) which we won and now we are working towards our first group stage, so I think we can be ready in time.”


Back to top button