Singapore teams get tricky AFC Cup draws

Home United and Tampines Rovers have been drawn in Group E and Group H respectively for the 2014 tournament
Singapore sides Tampines Rovers and Home United found out their AFC Cup fates earlier this afternoon when the draw for the 2014 group stages was made.

Home, who qualified by virtue of winning the 2013 Singapore Cup, were placed in Group E with Indonesian Super League champions Persipura Jayapura, I-League champions Churchill Brothers and Maldivian side New Radiant, who won both domestic league and cup competitions last season.

This will be the Protectors' seventh AFC Cup appearance, making them the most experienced side in the 2014 edition. Lee Lim Saeng's men last appeared in the 2012 tournament, where they qualified for the Round of 16 by finishing second behind Thai side Chonburi in Group G before losing 3-0 to Syria's Al-Shorta.

S.League champions Tampines were drawn against Myanmar National League runners-up Nay Pyi Taw, I-League runners-up Pune FC or third-placed East Bengal  and Hong Kong's Kitchee in Group H.

The Stags, who will be involved in the 2014 AFC Champions League (ACL) play-offs, will be replaced by Balestier Khalsa if they make it to the ACL group stages proper.

Tampines will face Hong Kong's South China on February 2 in Round 1 of their one-game play-off in Singapore. An away trip to Chonburi on February 8 awaits the winners in Round 2, with the victors of that tie going on to play Beijing Guoan in Round 3 on February 15.

The AFC Cup group stages is expected to kick off on February 25.

2014 AFC Cup group stages in full

Group A: Al-Suwaiq (Oman), That Ras (Jordan), Safa (Lebanon), Ravshan Kulob (Tajikistan) OR Al-Yarmuk Al-Rawda (Yemen)
Group B
: Al-Kuwait (Kuwait), Fanja (Oman), Al-Jaish (Syria), Nejmeh (Lebanon)
Group C
: Al-Hidd (Bahrain), Al-Qadsia (Kuwait), Al-Shorta (Iraq), Al-Wahda (Syria)
Group D
: Shabab Al-Ordon (Jordan), Riffa (Bahrain), Erbil (Iraq), Alay Osh (Kyrgyztan) OR Shabab Al-Dhahiriya (Palestine)
Group E
: Persipura Jayapura (Indonesia), Home United (Singapore), New Radiant (Maldives), Churchill Brothers (India)
Group F
: Hanoi T&T (Vietnam), Arema Cronous (Indonesia), Selangor (Malaysia), Maziya (Maldives)
Group G
: Yangon United (Myanmar), Vissai Ninh Binh (Vietnam), South China (Hong Kong), Kelantan (Malaysia)
Group H
: Tampines Rovers (Singapore) or Balestier Khalsa (Singapore) , Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), Pune (India), Kitchee (Hong Kong)