Tuesday, July 31, 2012

With bated breath

I am waiting patiently for the draw for the final stage of the AFC President's Cup which was made an hour ago in Tajikistan. Maybe the telephone lines and internet connections are piss poor. Phnom Penh Crown have made it through to the final stage for the second year running and wait eagerly to see who they will face in the three-team group stage, from which the winner will go onto the final itself, to be played on 30 September in Dushanbe. This was how the AFC website reviewed the draw yesterday:
The teams who have battled their way to the climactic stage of the 2012 AFC President's Cup will learn their initial opponents when the draw finals takes place in Dushanbe on Tuesday.
Six of the best club sides from the AFC's 'emerging nations' are in the pot for the draw, which will see the teams divided into two groups of three with the top two battling it out for the prestigious silverware in the September 30 final.
Host club Istikol will be looking to continue Tajikistan's proud record in the tournament with the clubs Central Asian republic having contested the trophy four occasions, with Regar TadAZ winning in 2005, 2008 and 2009 and Vaksh finishing runners-up in 2006.
Tajikistan's record in the competition is impressive but the real President's Cup powerhouse is six-time finalists Dordoi, winners in 2006 and 2007 and runners-up in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and the Kyrgyzstan giants are also in Tuesday draw along with defending champions Taiwan Power Company and last year's beaten finalists Phnom Penh Crown.
Also in the fray are Pakistan's KRL (Khan Research Laboratories), who are taking part in the AFC President's Cup for the second time after being knocked out in the qualifying stage in 2010, and Al Amma'ri Youth, Palestine's champions who are making their debut in AFC competition.
The draw for the eighth edition of the AFC President's Cup takes place at 1100am local time at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dushanbe.

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