Philippines sides Global FC and Ceres Negros FC get their AFC Cup campaigns underway on Tuesday with ties against Myanmar and Vietnamese opposition respectively.
Global, a double winner in last year’s United Football League, open their campaign with a home tie against Magwe FC of Myanmar in Group F.
The reigning Philippine champions come into the tie following an unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the AFC Champions League that saw them fall 6-0 to Brisbane Roar in the second preliminary stage after overcoming Tampines Rovers in the first.
And despite the heavy loss, Global captain Misagh Bahadoran said the experience was very useful.
“The AFC Champions League was a perfect experience for Global and we saw how high the quality of game there was. We had two matches there, so it was a good preparation for us,” he said on Monday.
“Our coach is already fixing the problems that we have in terms of positioning and spacing of players so now we can play in a better way here in the AFC Cup,” he added.
Opponents Magwe FC are making their AFC Cup debut after winning the General Aung San shield last year.
Ceres, meanwhile, will play their first Group G game away at Ha Noi FC of Vietnam.
The Philippine League runners-up will be looking to improve upon than last season’s AFC Cup showing when they went out in the Round of 16.
Japanese defender Kota Kawase has been added to the ranks alongside Philippine internationals Manny Ott and Simone Rota, while and Spanish forward Fernando Ortega has been signed in a bid to soften the blow of losing prolific scorer Stephan Schrock.
Nevertheless, they face a tough task against last season’s V.League champions on home soil at the intimidating My Dinh Stadium.