Sports Reporter- DAWN
KARACHI: Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) skipper Kamran Khan vowed his team will produce positive results when last season’s losing finalists begin their AFC President’s Cup campaign against Bangladesh’s Sheikh Russel KC on Wednesday.
“We’ve come here to play a positive and fair game and I’m very confident that the team will produce positive results,” Kamran said during a press conference at the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) office in Colombo on Tuesday, according to a news release received here.
“We’ve a tough task on our hands as the clubs we’ll be facing are champions of their countries but we can count on our experience from last season.”
Last season, KRL became the first side from Pakistan to reach a final of a continental competition, where they lost to Balkan FC in Asia’s third-tier club tournament.
The Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) champions face Sheikh Russel before taking on Bhutan’s Ugyen Academy on Friday and round off their Group ‘A’ campaign on Sunday against hosts and Sri Lankan champions Air Force SC.
The top two teams from the group will get a berth in the playoff round of next year’s AFC Cup — Asia’s second-tier club competition.
They will also advance to the final round of the President’s Cup where they will join the top two teams from Groups ‘B’ and ‘C’. The six teams will then be divided into two groups of three with the winners from each section contesting the final.
Group ‘A’ will be contested at Colombo’s Sugathadasa Stadium.
Also at the pre-tournament press conference was Sheikh Russel’s Montenegrin coach Dragan Djukanovic and he is eyeing a victory in their opening game against KRL.
“It is impressive to see that our players have already adjusted with the conditions in Colombo,” Djukanovic who has midfielders Pascal Millien of Haiti and Serbian Ivan Kurtusic as the two foreigners in his squad, said.
“We are looking forward to crossing the first barrier by beating KRL and then if we show our best efforts, we can top the group.”