Cebu FC gears up for first match in AFC Cup

The Cebu FC Gentle Giants are ramping up their preparation for their first home match in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup today, September 21, 8 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

The Gentle Giants have their work cut out for them as their first assignment in Group F is the multi-titled Phnom Penh Crown FC of Cambodia that has accounted for a record eight league titles.

Nevertheless, head coach Joshua Schirmer is confident of his squad’s growth and training for their first international stint.

“We’re headed in the right direction, obviously we have a few more days to be ready for them. We’ve pretty much recovered from our previous games in the cup that we’ve won and now we’re working towards our first group stage, so I think we will be ready in time.”

The Gentle Giant just came from topping Group B in the 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara by sweeping all of their matches, for a total of 12 points.

They blanked the University of the Philippines, 2-0; buried the Manila Digger, 4-1; subdued Pilipinas Dragons, 8-1; and edged Maharlika Manila FC, 2-1.

Coach Schirmer noted that these games were a big help in their training for the AFC Cup.

“It’s been a great help because we always use these preseasons to get ready for these games, that gave us a full 6 to 7 weeks to train and to have a really good competition and these games were really helpful.”

Coach Schirmer, who has heard so much about how supportive the Cebuano crowd, said he is sorry not to be playing here in Cebu, but he hopes the Cebuanos will still watch the match which will be live-streamed.

He also hopes for Cebuanos who are in Manila and the rest of the football fans to go to the Rizal Memorial Stadium and watch the game.

Tickets will be available at the Rizal Memorial Stadium as early as 2 p.m. today, September 21.

With the bleachers closed, available seats will be in the grandstand with the upper level pegged at P200, lower level at P300 and the VIP section for P400.