Cebu Football Club optimistic of grabbing first AFC win

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | October 25,2023 - 08:50 PM

Cebu Football Club players celebrating during one of their Copa Paulino Alcantara matches. | Photo from Cebu Football Club's Facebook page

Cebu Football Club players celebrating during one of their Copa Paulino Alcantara matches. | Photo from Cebu Football Club’s Facebook page

CEBU CITY, Philippines —The Cebu Football Club (CFC) Gentle Giants are optimistic ahead of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup match against Myanmar’s Shan United FC tomorrow, Thursday, October 26, 2023, at the at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. 

The Gentle Giants are still reeling from their Sunday loss against the Davao Aguilas-University of Makati, 0-1, in the first-leg of their semifinals series of the Copa Paulino Alcantara in the PFL. 

READ: Cebu FC, shellshocked from beating in Australia, gets win against Mendiola FC

Cebu Football Club’s hopes

According to their head coach, Joshua Schirmer, they are leaning on their second half outing against the Australian club, MacArthur FC, where they scored two goals, despite being down by 6-0 in the first half. 

“We hope to build from the second half performance in Australia and control the match in order to achieve the club’s first ever win in the AFC Cup,” said Schirmer in their pre-match presser. 

“No excuses for the first half of that match. We unnecessarily conceded early then struggled to get into the match in the first half. I applaud the team for competing in the second half against a strong opponent,” he said.

READ: Cebu FC still winless after two games in AFC Cup

Two matches in a week

Schirmer also noted that having two matches in one week was a challenge for his team, but preparation and proper scouting would be their key against Shan United FC. 

“Having 2 matches in a week is never easy, but most, if not all teams in the competition will be facing the same issue. We prepare the team in the same manner for all competitions by scouting opponents and making adjustments as needed,” said Schirmer. 

In their two matches in the AFC, Schirmer noted that the Gentle Giants had learned plenty from those experiences. 

READ: Gentle Giants bow to ruthless Phnom Penh in AFC Cup opener

Sharp learning curve

“It has been a sharp learning curve for many players, but the second half against Macarthur and for most of the match against Phnom Penh, our team have shown that they can play at that level. The objective now is to cut out the mistakes that have lead to us conceding goals against high level opposition,” he said. 

After their match against the Burmese squad, they will prepare for the second leg of their Copa semifinals slated on November 3 against the Aguilas. 

The Gentle Giants and Shan United FC are both winless in AFC’s Group F. MacArthur FC and Phnom Penh Crown of Cambodia are both 2-0, with the former leading in aggregate score. 

READ: Davao stuns Cebu in Copa Alcantara semis first leg

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TAGS: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, Cebu Football Club, gentle giants, Myanmar's Shan United FC

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