Er­bil FC seek to win the AFC Cup

Er­bil in Group D for the 2014 AFC Cup

The Kurdish Globe - - WEATHER -

The draw for the Group Stage of the 2014 AFC Cup took place at AFC House on De­cem­ber 10. A to­tal of just 12 teams will be con­firmed af­ter the play­offs for the 2014 AFC Cham­pi­ons League and two play­offs for the AFC Cup, with clubs from Kyr­gyzs­tan and Pales­tine look­ing to take part in the AFC Cup for the first time.

The 32 teams have been di­vided into eight groups with four teams in each. Rep­re­sent­ing Iraq and the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Er­bil FC was placed in group D, mean­ing Er­bil will face ei­ther Shabab Al Ordon or Al We­hdat of Jor­dan, the Bahraini out­fit Riffa, and the win­ner of Fe­bru­ary’s qual­i­fy­ing play-off be- tween Kyr­gyzs­tan League cham­pi­ons Alay and Al Dharia of Pales­tine.

Hav­ing avoided their neme­sis and de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, the Kuwait Sport Club, in the group stage fol­low­ing Tues­day’s draw, Er­bil are con­fi­dent of a re­turn to form in the AFC Cup. Er­bil have been elim­i­nated from the tour­na­ment by three-time win­ners Kuwait SC on three sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions.

Fpr their part, hav­ing edged out do­mes­tic ri­vals Al Qad­sia in the fi­nal ear­lier this year, Kuwait SC will take their place in Fe­bru­ary’s play-offs for the AFC Cham­pi­ons League with a place in the AFC Cup avail­able should they fail to progress through the qual­i­fy­ing rounds.

“I’m happy there are no Kuwaiti teams in our group.” Er­bil club rep­re­sen­ta­tive Re­bin Ramzi told the of­fi­cial AFC web­site.

Ramzi added “We lost three times to Kuwait Sport Club: in the fi­nal in 2012, the semi-fi­nals in 2011, and the quar­ter-fi­nals in 2009. If Kuwait SC get into the AFC Cham­pi­ons League, there’s a good chance Er­bil will win the tour­na­ment.”

Fol­low­ing the ap­point­ment of Ay­oub Odisho as Head Coach at Er­bil, Er­bil FC wants to get back on track and put in an im­proved show­ing in both the Iraqi do­mes­tic league and the AFC Cup. Odisho has al­ready started knock­ing the team into shape, and hopes to win over the fans with a strong per­for­mance in the do­mes­tic league. Er­bil be­gan chang­ing its line-up last week, when it signed two new play­ers.

Last year, the Bagh­dad city gi­ant, Al Shurta, be­came the Iraqi Elite league cham­pi­ons af­ter beat­ing Al Tal­aba 3-0 on the fi­nal day of the sea­son and thereby main­tain­ing their two-point lead over their clos­est chal­lengers, the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, Er­bil. Af­ter the AFC gave a place to Iraq in the AFC Cham­pi­ons League, Al-Shurta was se­lected to rep­re­sent Iraqi in the com­pe­ti­tion, while Er­bil booked their place in this year’s AFC Cup.

This pic­ture de­picts Er­bil Foot­ball Team.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.