Malaysia’s representatives for the 2013 AFC Cup – Kelantan and Selangor, have been handed reasonable group stage draws in the competition.
Malaysian champions and this year’s quarter-finalists Kelantan were drawn in Group G, and will have Ayeyawady United (Myanmar), SHB Da Nang (Vietnam) and Maziah Sports & Recreation Club (Maldives) for company.
Selangor, the country’s most successful team, will return to the competition for the third time after finishing as second runners-up in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) this season. They will take the place of LionsXII - who are not eligible to represent the MSL despite finishing second, as they are only an invitational team. The Red Giants have been placed in Group H and will be joined by Singapore’s Tampines Rovers, as well as Kingfisher East Bengal of India and Saigon Xuan Thanh of Vietnam.
In the draw conducted at AFC House in Bukit Jalil yesterday, the 32 participating teams were divided into eight groups of four teams each, and will play their group opponents home and away in a round-robin format from March 5 to May 1.
After the first round, the top two teams in each group will advance to the knock-out stages, scheduled to take place on May 14 and 15.
Below are the full groups:
Group A: Safa (Lib), Kuwait SC (Kwt), Riffa (Bhr), Playoff winners
Group B: Arbil SC (Irq), Al Ansar (Lib), Fanja (Omn), Muharraq (Bhr)
Group C: Al Faisaly (Jor), Duhok (Irq), Al Shaab Ibb (Ymn) Dhofar (Omn)
Group D: Al Qadsia (Kwt), Al Ramtha (Jor), FC Ravshan (Tjk), Al Shorta (Syr)
Group E: Kitchee (HK), Singapore Armed Forces FC (Sg), Semen Padang (Ina), Churchill Brothers (Ind)
Group F: Yangon United (Mya), Sunray Cave JC Sun Hei (HK), New Radiant SC (Mdv), Persibo (Ina)
Group G: Kelantan (Mas), Ayeyawady United (Mya), SHB Da Nang (Vie), Maziah SRC (Mdv)
Group H: Tampines Rovers (Sg), Selangor (Mas), Kingfisher East Bengal (Ind), Saigon Xuan Thanh (Vie)