V-League representatives comfortable at AFC cup

TN News

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V-League clubs Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) and Navibank Saigon can breathe a sigh of relief now that the results of the draw of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup have been announced.

The 32 clubs in the qualifying round of Asia's second-tier AFC Cup on Tuesday were placed in eight groups, and Vietnam's top-tier champions SLNA are in Group F, competing with Kitchee from Hong Kong, Terengganu from Malaysia and Tampines Rovers from Singapore.

Vietnam's National Cup champs Navibank Saigon will play in Group H against Kelantan of Malaysia, Ayeyawady of Myanmar and Arema Indonesia of India.

The results of the draw look good for the Vietnamese clubs because their rivals in Groups F and H are not as strong as them.

SLNA coach Nguyen Huu Thang said, "SLNA has always made good preparations for every competition, and the AFC Cup event is no exception. With experience from the season last year, we will try to get good results."

The AFC Cup 2012 qualifying round will take place from March 6 till May 23, and the knock-out round until the final will take place from September until November.

Vietnam's best result at previous AFC Cups was achieved by Binh Duong, who advanced to the semifinals in the 2009 season.

Last year, SLNA struggled past the qualifying round but was swept aside in the first knock-out round after losing 1-3 to the Indonesian club Persipura Jayapura.

The AFC Cup contest has been organized for seven years. This is the first time clubs from Myanmar have participated in the continental event.

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