The Hong Kong-based South China Athletic Association football team is scheduled to arrive Sunday in Bacolod City, two days before the single- knockout match against home team Cere-La Salle Football Club in the Round of 16 of the AFC Cup 2016 at the Panaad Stadium.
South China qualified into the Round of 16 after finishing No. 2 in Group G of the group stages behind No. 1 team Mohun Bagan of India. The team absorbed three straight losses in the group but managed to bounce back by winning their last three games to finish with 9 points.
The team from Hong Kong opened their campaign with a 1-2 away loss against Yangon United of Myanmar, and was overpowered by Mohun Bagan, 0-4, at their own home pitch at Mongkok Stadium in Hong Kong.
Their third match in the group stages against Maziya Sports and Recreation of Maldives ended 2-1 in favor of the Maldivians.
South China, however, got their grooves back as they posted back-to-back home victories, 2-0 against Maziya and 2-1 against Yangon United. They clinched a spot into the knockout stages after a 3-0 away win against Mohun Bagan at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
Meanwhile, the members of the Ceres-La Salle team are coming home to Bacolod City today after claiming back-to-back wins of their own in the ongoing UFL League, 6-0 against the Nomads on May 14 and 10-1 against the Agila on Wednesday.
The Busmen were undefeated in the group stages where they emerged No. 1 in Group E. After settling for a 2-2 draw against the Selangor FA at the Panaad Stadium, the team beat home team Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi in Bangladesh, 2-0, then escaped with a 1-1 draw against Tampines Rovers in Singapore.
A 2-1 win against Tampines at the Panaad Stadium catapulted the team to the top of the group and the scoreless draw in Kuala Lumpur against Selangor virtually ushered the squad to the Round of 16.
The Bacolod City-based squad formalized their entry into the knockout stages after dominating the Bangladeshi-squad, 5-0, at the Panaad Stadium.*NAB
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