Darul Ta’zim need to win for certain entry into semis
EXPECT excitement in the final round of group matches in the AFC Cup today.
A win for Darul Ta’zim over Magwe of Myanmar in a Group F match at Larkin Stadium will likely be enough for them to reach the zonal semi-finals as the best runners-up team.
Global of the Philippines, who play Boeungket Angkor of Cambodia, lead the group with 12 points, two more than Darul Ta’zim.
As there are only three teams in Group H, the ranking for the runners-up spot for the zonal semifinal spot will be based only on the second place team’s results against the champions and the third place club.
Only the champions of Group F, G and H earn automatic berths for the zonal semi-finals with the best runner-up team taking up the other available slot.
While Darul Ta’zim need Global to slip up to secure first place, they go into their match today knowing that a win will still be enough to see them progress as the best runners-up, having taken nine points out of 12 in their games against the Filipino side and Beoungket.
Assistant coach Ismail Ibrahim said his team cannot afford a slipup today.
“The format is different this season. We will field our best players and try to record a win. However, our win will not be taken into account as Magwe will finish last in the group,” said Ismail yesterday.
“Amirulhadi Zainal is suspended while Argentines Gabriel Guerra and Brian Fereirra are tired. Defender Fadhli Shas is also carrying a minor injury.”
Ismail said Magwe cannot be taken lightly as they depend on long balls to score goals.
“Magwe are here without pressure as they are already out of the running for a spot in the semifinals. We cannot afford mistakes tomorrow,” Ismail added.
Magwe coach Zaw Win Tun is expected to reshuffle his line-up following the suspensions of Htoo Htoo Aung and Maung Maung Soe.
“We are here to play football and we are determined to earn something. Both teams drew 1-1 in the first round in Yangon and I hope we can do it again,” said Win Tun.