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AFC Cup 2013 – Group H - Know Your Opponents

Wednesday, 03 April 2013 Report by Arijit Sil

The AFC Cup is an annual international association football competition between domestic clubs sides run by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Qualification to the competition is to clubs from AFC-affiliated countries which fall into the AFC's 'developing nations' category as laid out in their 'Vision Asia' document. The 'developing nations' are the fourteen 'next-best' countries which lie outside the top-14 countries in the AFC region.

Kingfisher East Bengal, along with Churchill Brothers will be representing India in this edition of AFC’s second-tier club competition on the basis of winning Federation Cup and Dempo’s withdrawal from AFC Cup on not getting their home matches in their home stadium. The Kolkata giants have qualified for the AFC Cup four years in a row (including this edition) and it will also be their record seventh appearance from India.

The Red and Gold Brigade have only managed to progress beyond the group stage in 2004, when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Al-Jaish (Damascus) on a 0-3 aggregate.

The 2003 ASEAN Cup champions, Kingfisher East Bengal have been placed in Group H with Tampines Rovers FC (SINGAPORE), Selangor FA (MALAYSIA) and Saigon Xuan Thanh FC (VIETNAM) in AFC Cup 2013. The two top teams from Group H will proceed to the Pre-Quarter Finals (Round of 16).

Know Your Opponents – Group H

Tampines Rovers FC (SINGAPORE)

Match Schedule:

3rd April, 2013 - TAMPINES ROVERS FC vs. KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL – Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore
9th April, 2013 – KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL vs. TAMPINES ROVERS FC – Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, India

Nickname:  The Stags
Founded: 1945
Ground: Clementi Stadium, Clementi, Singapore (capacity: 4,000)
Chairman: Teo Hock Seng
Manager (interim): Tay Peng Kee
AFC Cup 2013 Qualification: As 2012 S-League Champions
Best Performance In AFC Cup:  2005 - Quarter-final (lost to Al-Faisaly 0-2 on aggregate); 2006 - Quarter-final (lost to Al-Wihdat 0-5 on aggregate); 2007 - Quarter-final (lost to Al-Faisaly 3-7 on aggregate)
Performance In Last AFC Cup:  Group Stage (Group F)

Club History: In year 1945, a group of football enthusiasts from the distinct of Tampines got to play football and decided to play football and decided to organise themselves into a football club. While many names for the football club came and went, the club members eventually settled for "Tampines Rovers" as the final & official club name.

 In 2002, Tampines secured the services of Malaysian coach Chow Kwai Lam, who guided them to the Singapore Cup and two fourth-place finishes. Under the next coach, Vorawan Chitanavich, Tampines netted the S.League and Singapore Cup double in 2004. The following season, they successfully defended their S.League title, were named the 'S.League Team of the Decade' and became the first Singapore team to win the ASEAN Club Championship. The Stags were Singapore Cup champions in 2006, but finished runners-up to SAFFC in the S.League. In 2012, Tampines Rovers won the S-League for the fourth time.

The Stags are familiar with East Bengal manager, Trevor James Morgan, who used to helm Sengkang Punggol for several seasons and had even steered the club to the inaugural SingTel League Cup final in 2007.
The Stags currently have three foreigners in their squad, namely ---
Sasa Dreven (Croatia) – GK
Sead Hadzibulic (Serbia) – FW
Benoit Croissant (France) - DF

Manager’s words: “Our main objective in this competition is to qualify for the Round of 16, and looking at the group, we stand a good chance of doing just that. Selangor are always a strong team and have been Malaysia Cup powerhouses for a long time. They are of a similar standard to us, but I am confident we can do better against them when we meet.”


Match Schedule:

27th February, 2013 – KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL vs. SELANGOR FA – Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, India
23rd April, 2013 - SELANGOR FA vs. KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL  – Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam, Malaysia

Nick Names: The Red Giants; The Red-Yellows
Founded: 22 February 1936
Ground: Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia (capacity: 80,932)
Chairman: Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim
Manager (interim): Irfan Bakti Abu Salim

AFC Cup 2013 Qualification: As 3rd Place finish in 2012 Malaysia Super League (Although Selangor only finished third in the 2012 Malaysia Super League, they were awarded the second AFC Cup spot by virtue of the league runners-up being Singapore LIONS XII, a side managed by the Football Association of Singapore, and thus ineligible to represent Malaysia in continental competition.)

Best Performance in AFC Cup: 2006 - Quarter-final (lost to Al-Nejmeh 0-1 on aggregate)

Performance In Last AFC Cup: Group Stage (Group F)

Club History: The Football Association of Selangor, commonly referred to as FAS or simply Selangor, is a semi professional football team that competes in Malaysian football competitions representing the state of Selangor Darul Ehsan. The team is based in Shah Alam city and currently plays in Malaysian Super League, the top-flight of Malaysian football.

For most of the 20th century, Singapore was Selangor's fierce rival since 1921 before they withdrew from Malaysian competitions after 1994 campaign. As part of reviving their traditional rivalry, both teams square off in Sultan of Selangor Cup tournament which is held annually since its introduction in 2002.

With a record of 32 Malaysia Cups, 5 Division 1/Premier 1/Super League titles, 2 Division 2/Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups and 8 Charity Cups, Selangor is the most successful team in Malaysian football. The team has won the treble twice in 2005 and 2009. The first treble consists of Premier League, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup, while the second consists of Super League, FA Cup and Charity Cup. In 2010, they retained the Super League title and Charity Cup.

Selangor currently have only one foreigner in their squad in the form of Ramez Dayoub (Lebanon) – DF.



Match Schedule

13th March, 2013 - SAI GON XUAN THANH FC vs. KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL  – Thong Nhat Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
30th April, 2013 – KINGFISHER EAST BENGAL vs. SAI GON XUAN THANH FC – Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata, India

Founded: 5 January 2011
Ground: Thong Nhat Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (capacity: 25,000)
Chairman: Nguyễn Đức Thụy
Manager: Trần Tiến Đại

AFC Cup 2013 Qualification: As 2012 Vietnamese Cup Winners (First appearance in the competition)
Club History: Sài Gòn Xuân Thành Football Club is a professional football club playing in V-League based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. They were the second runners up in 2012 V-League.

Sài Gòn Xuân Thành currently have four foreigners in their squad namely ---
Antonio Carlos (Brazil) – FW
Christian Nsi Amougou (Cameroon) – FW
Moses Oloya (Uganda) – MF
Geoffrey Kizito (Uganda) – MF


Arijit Sil - info@ebrp.in

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