KUALA LUMPUR: Premier League champions Perak are confident of reaching the quarter-finals of next year's AFC Cup competition.
Perak found themselves in Group D with Happy Valley (Hong Kong), Home United (Singapore) and Club Valencia (Maldives) after the draw was conducted at the AFC head office in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.
Perak team manager Datuk Jamal Nasir Rasdi said after the draw: “Other than the Singapore team, we have not seen the other teams in action before. Nevertheless, I am confident we will make the quarter-final stage.”
The other Malaysian representative is FA Cup winners Negri Sembilan. They are in Group E with Kingfisher East Bengal (India), Geylang United (Singapore) and Island FC (Maldives).
There are five groups with 20 teams competing.
The winners of the respective group qualify for the quarter-finals. The other three spots will be filled up by the two best second placed teams in the West, South and Central Asia grouping and the best second placed team from the Asean and East Asia grouping.
AFC Cup 2004
West, South and Central Asia Group (A to C)
Group A: Nijmeh (Lebanon), Bangladesh Muktijoddah Samgsad Krira Chahkra (Bangladesh), Nisa FC Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), Al Shah Ibb Club (Yemen).
Group B: Mahindra United (India), Al Wahda Club Sanaa (Yemen), Al Wahdah (Syria), Dhofar (Oman).
Group C: Olympic Beirut (Lebonan), Mohammedan SC(Bangladesh), Nebitchi FC (Turkmenistan), Army Club ( Turkmenistan).
Asean and East Asia (Group D and E)
Group D: Perak (Malaysia), Happy Valley (Hong Kong), Home United (Singapore), Club Valencia (Maldives).
Group E: Negri Sembilan (Malaysia), Kingfisher East Bengal (India), Geylang United (Singapore), Island FC (Maldives).