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Familiar foes Ceres-Negros FC, Shan United FC face off anew at AFC Champions League preliminaries

Ceres Negros will open its season with an AFC Champions League qualifying match against Shan. AFC (file photo)
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

MANILA — Just like deja vu, Myanmar's Shan United FC are visiting the Philippines as Ceres-Negros FC plays as their hosts at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday night for the Preliminary Round of the AFC Champions League.

The Busmen are facing Shan United for the 6th time around in an AFC-mandated competition, but the reigning PFL champion has dominated the Burmese champions since their first meeting back in the preliminaries of the 2018 edition of the Champions League.

This time around, both the Philippines and the Myanmar side are undefeated - making their match-up all the more thrilling for their fans.

With only three training sessions under his team's belt, Coach Risto Vidakovic is expecting a tough game, with the visitors most likely to give them a run for their money in the knockout format competition, with the winning team advancing to the next round.

"It is going to be a very hard game because it is our first match in 2020," said the Busmen gaffer.

Ceres-Negros recently beefed up their line up with the addition of national team members Mark Hartmann and Hikaru Minigeshi, who came off their stints in the Thai League and also having two returnees for the Bacolod-based club through Arnie Pasinabo and Josh Grommen.

However, the visiting Burmese side is also a force to be reckoned with as they banner a line up that boosts of foreign imports coming from Kyrgyzstan and Ghana, respectively. Expect familiarity to come along for Shan United as they have played against Ceres a couple of times.

"We know that they are a good team and we will play against them with respect. We look forward to having a good result tomorrow," said team captain Thiha Sithu, who also happens to be the goalkeeper of the Burmese side.

The clash between Ceres-Negros FC and Shan United FC is slated at 7:30 p.m.

Follow her on Twitter: @_ichbinxyzha