Cebu Football Club to face Phnom Penh FC at AFC Cup in Manila
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Football Club (CFC) Gentle Giants will start their campaign in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup against Phnom Penh Crown FC of Cambodia tomorrow, Thursday, September 21, 8 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
CFC will compete under Group F of the AFC against a much-favored opponent in Cambodia’s multi-titled Phnom Penh Crown FC, an eight-time Cambodia league title holder.
Cebu Football Club coach optimistic of chances
Despite the odds, CFC’s head coach Joshua Schirmer is somewhat confident of his team’s preparation and growth in their first international stint.
“We’re headed in the right direction, obviously we have a few more days to be ready for them. We’ve pretty much recovered from our previous games in the cup that we’ve won and now we’re working towards our first group stage, so I think we will be ready in time,” said Schirmer.
The Gentle Giant just came from topping Group B in the 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara by sweeping all of their matches, for a total of 12 points.
They blanked the University of the Philippines, 2-0; buried the Manila Digger, 4-1; subdued Pilipinas Dragons, 8-1; and edged Maharlika Manila FC, 2-1.
Copa Paulino Alcantara games a big help
Coach Schirmer noted that these games were a big help in their training for the AFC Cup.
“It’s been a great help because we always use these preseasons to get ready for these games, that gave us a full 6 to 7 weeks to train and to have a really good competition and these games were really helpful,” he added.
CFC earned the AFC Cup slot after finishing as runner-up in the 2022-2023 season of the Philippines Football League.
Cebu Football Club players
Manning CFC’s official roster are goalkeepers Florencio ‘Jun’ Badelic Jr., Nathanael ‘Ace’ Villanueva, and John Francis ‘Jack’ Zambrano.
The rest of the squad is manned by Jeremiah ‘JB’ Borlongan, Arda Çinkir, Roberto Corsame Jr., Göktug Demiroglu, Charles Ralph Allan Dabao III, Daniel Bernan Gadia, Rintaro Hama, Kore Marius Kore, Jacob Elijah Liao, Kintaro Miyagi, Ken Murayama, Marcel Ivan Ouano, Ren Okuda, Jaime Rosquillo, John Renz Saldivar, Chima Uzoka, Baris Tasci, Evren Tasci, and Ryoo Togashi.
Cebu FC has been drawn into Group F wherein aside from Phnom Penh Crown FC, they will go up against Macarthur FC of Australia, and 2022 Myanmar National League champions, Shan United.
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