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Both clubs will be keen to improve on their record in the regional competition as they open their continental campaigns this week

By Khalis Rifhan
khalis.rifhan@goal.com
@KhalisRifhan

Singapore clubs Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC will kickstart their journeys in the AFC Cup this week as they look to better their previous outings in the regional competition.

The Warriors are drawn in Group E alongside Semen Padang (Indonesia), Kitchee (Hong Kong) and Churchill Brothers (India) while Tampines will pit their skills against Sai Gon Xuan Thanh (Vietnam), East Bengal (India) and Selangor (Malaysia). 

The defending Singapore Cup champions will begin their campaign with a trip to West Sumatra against Semen on March 5, before hosting Kitchee a week later at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

As for the Stags, they will welcome Sai Gon at Jalan Besar on March 6 before traveling to Shah Alam to take on the Red Giants of Selangor on March 13. 

The Warriors’ last appearance in Asia's second-tier club tournament was in 2008 under former head coach Richard Bok, where they reached the quarter-finals. They won the first leg 2-1 at home with Aleksandar Duric scoring twice against Oman's Al Nahda, but crashed out after a 3-0 defeat in the return tie.

As for Tampines, their outing in 2012 was a forgettable one as they crashed out at the group stages, finishing bottom with only one win – a 2-0 victory against Terengganu FA - and two draws.

Coincidentally, the top scorer for both teams in the competition is former Singapore international Duric, who scored nine for the Warriors in 2008 and eight for the Stags – six in 2011 and two in 2012.

Duric will certainly be looking to add to his tally and leapfrog his current club's all-time top scorer ex-Singapore international Noh Alam Shah, who has 12 goals to his name.

However, the veteran forward has scored 21 times in the competition overall, including his four goals for Geylang International in 2004 when he helped the Bedok-based club to an impressive semi-final appearance.

Warriors FC Fixtures 

Date

Opponent

Venue

March 5

Semen Padang

Haji Agus Salim Stadium, Padang

March 12

Kitchee

Jalan Besar Stadium

April 2

Churchill Brothers

Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex

April 10

Churchill Brothers

Jalan Besar Stadium

April 24

Semen Padang

Jalan Besar Stadium

May 1

Kitchee

Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground

Tampines Rovers Fixtures 

Date

Opponent

Venue

March 6

Sai Gon Xuan Thanh

Jalan Besar Stadium

March 13

Selangor FA

Shah Alam Stadium

April 3

East Bengal

Jalan Besar Stadium

April 9

East Bengal

Salt Lake Stadium

April 23

Sai Gon Xuan Thanh

Thong Nhat Stadium

April 30

Selangor FA

Jalan Besar Stadium

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