Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng football club will ‘give everything’ as they face Ceres-Negros FC of the Philippines in the group stage of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2020.
The Cambodian team will face their counterparts from the Philippines at the Panaad Park and Football Stadium in Bacolod City, Philippines on Feb 11. The game will start at 12 noon (Cambodian time).
Ceres-Negros is currently ranked as the number one football club in Southeast Asia. The Philippine team vaulted to the top of the rankings after impressive wins in the preliminary stages of the AFC Champions League 2020.
“I know my team will give everything and work very hard,” Conor Nestor, PKR Svay Rieng FC head coach, said yesterday. “In the end, we will find out how much work we still have to do in developing this team.”
Nestor said they expect a physical game versus the Filipino side.
“Ceres is the top-ranked Southeast Asian team in the AFC. So yes, it will be a fast, physical, technical and tactical game. We will have to concentrate for every second,” he stressed.
PKR Svay Rieng FC will need the best effort of its core, led by the lightning-quick Jean Befolo “Privat” Mbarga and defensive stalwart Jonny Campbell.
“Our strategy is to play our fastest attacking football when we have the ball and to work hard to try and stifle Ceres when they have it,” Nestor revealed.
The Philippine side is expected to be bannered by British-born football sensation James Younghusband. Younghusband and his younger brother Phil are among the best footballers in the Philippines.
The group stage will be played on a home-and-away round-robin format, with teams in a group facing each other twice.
The other teams that are in the same bracket (Group G) with Ceres-Negros FC and PKR Svay Rieng FC are Than Quang Ninh FC of Vietnam and Bali United FC of Indonesia.
The group stage will run from Feb 10-June 17. There are 36 teams (divided into nine groups) that are competing for 11 slots in the next round. Nine group winners and two best runners-up will advance to the knockout phase of the continental championship.