The Kelantan players posing with their new kit to be used during AFC matches on Saturday. - SHAARI CHE MAT/ The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Kelantan coach Steve Darby will be happy if his side can get a point in their AFC Cup Group G opener against Yangon United at the YTC Stadium in Myanmar on Wednesday.
The injury-ravaged Red Warriors will only have one foreign player – Nigerian defender Obinna Nwaneri – available for the match as the other three import players are injured.
Talismanic striker Mohd Ghaddar Mahmoud is down with a groin injury, Liberian hitman Francis Doe has a quadricep complaint and Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Shawky is still nursing a hamstring injury.
Darby conceded that they have an uphill task against Yangon United.
“It will be a difficult match for us with only one foreign player available for the match,” said Darby after Kelantan’s AFC Cup jersey launch on Sunday.
“I took a gamble by fielding Shawky against PKNS in the FA Cup quarter-final match last week. We won the match to reach semi-finals but he ended up aggravating his injury,” lamented Darby.
Besides Yangon United, Kelantan, who are making their third appearance in the AFC Cup, also have South China of Hong Kong and Vissai Ninh Binh of Vietnam for company in the group.
The 59-year-old Englishman reckons that his team is good enough to finish in the top two in the group to reach the second round.
“We need 12 points to reach the next round. All we have to do is win our three home games and draw the away matches,” said Darby.
“The local players have shown great character in training and I’ll be banking on them to get us a positive result.”