Written by KEN GADAFFI
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
THE 5th AFC President's Cup group 3 fixtures kick off today at Spartak stadium in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek. Cambodian flag-bearers Phnom Penh Crown will lock horns with Myanmar champions Kanbawza at 2:30pm (local Kyrgyzstan time) and host nation side Dynamo-Dordoi Naryn take on Bhutan's Yeedzin FC later at 6:00pm. Reigning Cup and league champions Phnom Penh Crown left for Kyrgyzstan on Sunday with high hopes, despite their dismal start to the 2009 Cambodian Premier League Season. ‘‘We are ready for the competition,'' team manager Makara Be said, as the team were about to enter customs at the Phnom Penh International Airport. ‘‘We are going with 17 players, and they are all ready to do Cambodia proud. Our first match will be tough, but ... some of my players have shaken off injuries and are now in good shape,'' the manager added with enthusiasm.The AFC has divided the continent's club competitions into three levels with the President's Cup being the third in the pecking order after the AFC Cup and top level AFC Champions League. Hello United represented Cambodia in the inaugural AFC President's Cup in 2005, but failed to pass through the group stage, as did Khemara FC and Naga Corp in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Crown will look to do one better than Khemara, who made the 2006 semifinals but lost 3-0 to Dordoi-Dynamo.