AFC Cup 2019: Persija Jakarta manager Ivan Kolev opens up ahead of much-awaited clash against Becamex Binh Duong

On the 26th of February, 2019, Indonesian champions Persija Jakarta will kick-start their AFC Cup 2019 group stage campaign by playing their first game of the competition.

The side will face Vietnam-based Becamex Binh Duong at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta in their opening game.

Ahead of the contest, Persija’s coach Ivan Kolev opened up on what he felt about the opposing team, in a press conference held today afternoon.

“The first thing we know, is that tomorrow’s will be a difficult game for us. The contest will be very tight, because we will be meeting a good team. We have seen one of their matches. Binh Duong is quite a difficult team to face, as their organization is good,” Kolev was quoted as saying.

Furthermore, he also added that Binh Duong, who are also the seventh-placed team in the 2018 V.League 1, have good players in every position – especially in the wings. Their chief striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh, was also one of the top-scorers in the 2018 V.League 1, with 12 goals. In addition, Kolev also observed their defensive backline to be sturdy enough to fend off most attacks.

The Persija manager was, however, in no mood to play down their own strengths on the pitch.

“We know our own strengths as well, as we have our weapons too. I am sure that if our players can give their best efforts on the pitch, then we can win tomorrow,” he said.

Ivan Kolev said that he hoped that his players, who he considers like his own children, are totally ready to undergo the fight. Ahead of the upcoming season, some new Persija players had just joined the squad – namely Silvio Escobar, Stevan Paulle, and Rohit Chand – and speaking on them, the manager wants no stone unturned in going ahead towards the much-awaited duel.

“I hope there is no issues regarding the conditions of the three (new players) who have just arrived. But hopefully they are in good condition,” he concluded.

The match between Persija Jakarta and Becamex Binh Duong will kick-off by 2:00 PM SGT, tomorrow. The 2019 AFC Cup can be viewed live on the FOX Sports Network.