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Radiant's Stoykov thinks Kaya is favorite to win AFC Cup group

OJ Porteria was quick to downplay Iordan Stoykov's claim that Kaya is the toughest club in Group F of the AFC Cup. Kaya FC

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Despite an opening night loss, Kaya is believed to be the favorite to dominate Group F of the AFC Cup.

That is at least according to New Radiant coach Iordan Stoykov.

"I'm thinking that Kaya is the best team in the group. Others will just be fighting for second place," said the Bulgarian mentor ahead of the Kaya-Radiant showdown at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night.

In the pre-match press conference at the Century Park Hotel on Monday, Stoykov added that his Maldives-based club must exert effort to least attain a good result against the Philippine side, which will be hosting an AFC Cup match for the first time.

"I think we have to show our best efforts to resist them and to achieve the acceptable result," he said in particular.

However, Kaya assistant coach Joel Villarino got somewhat flattered with Stoykov's statement.

"I'm not sure [if we are the favorites]. If we win tomorrow, maybe it's true," Villarino downplayed Stoykov's claim.

Striker OJ Porteria agreed and said, "I have confidence in our team, in our coaching staff and our management, but just like coach said, we will see tomorrow and in the next games. We need to prove ourselves. We can't just listen to what he said."

Kaya and Radiant face off at 7:30 p.m. with both clubs eyeing second place.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno