Dempo face Home United in AFC Cup quarters

May 24th, 2008 - 8:55 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) India’s Dempo Sports Club will take on Singapore Home United in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup. The draw for the knock-out stage was held at the headquarters of the AFC in Kuala Lumpur Saturday. The first leg of the quarter-finals will be played Sep 16 with the return matches held a week later Sep 23.

Dempo coach Mauricio Afonso feels that his team will have to work very hard to win the AFC Cup quarter-final against Home United.

“There is no easy team in this stage of the competition. We will have to work very hard and win both the legs. We are very happy to be in the quarter-final for the first time but it will be tough for us,” he said.

The Indian champions thrashed Oman’s Sur 5-2 in their last group game to qualify as the best runners-up team after Muharraq beat Al Ansar to take the top spot.

“The morale of the team is very high at the moment because we won the last match with ease and the players would be aiming to repeat the same performance against Home United.”

Afonso also said that playing the first leg at home would be a disadvantage. “It is much better to play the first leg away as we can study the opponent team and play the second leg at home in front of the home crowd. Now, we should win the first leg

Saturday’s draw also determined the semi-final match-ups and raised the possibility of either an all-Singaporean or all-Malaysian final.

The winner of the Muharraq-Kedah tie will face the winner of the SAF-Al Nahda match in one semi-final while the winner of the Perak-Safa clash will take on either Dempo or Home United match in the other last four match.

The semi-final matches will take place Oct 7 and 21 with the two legs of the final are slated for Oct 31 and Nov 7.

Quarter-final draw: Perak (Malaysia) vs. Safa (Lebanon); Armed Forces (Singapore) vs. Al Nahda (Oman); Dempo (India) vs. Home United (Singapore); Muharraq (Bahrain) vs. Kedah (Malaysia)

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