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Shabab Urdun, That Ras commence AFC Cup 2014 matches

By Aline Bannayan - Feb 24,2014 - Last updated at Feb 24,2014

AMMAN — Jordan’s Shabab Urdun and That Ras kick off their 11th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2014 matches on Tuesday as 32 clubs from across the continent compete in eight groups with the top two in each group going on to the Round of 16.

That Ras, who won the Jordan Cup last year, play their first AFC matches against Lebanon’s Safa in Beirut on Tuesday with a tough task in their first Asian experience.

They are just out of a 1-0 win over Wihdat in the league, but coach Imad Khankan sounded apprehensive of the upcoming match ahead of the team’s departure to Beirut. 

“We lack competitive experience on the Asian level. We have not had enough friendlies against tougher teams. We are nevertheless in high spirits and have prepared well,” he was quoted by the local media as saying.

That Ras will play in Group A, which also includes Tajikistan’s Ravshan and Oman’s Suweiq. 

Khankan said his team know the task ahead is not easy, adding that they have a national duty after Jordanian teams have left their mark in the second-tier Asian club competition, which was won by Faisali in 2005 and 2006 and Shabab Urdun in 2007.

On the other hand, Jordan league champs Shabab Urdun will host Iraq’s Erbil on Wednesday. Shabab Urdun lost 1-0 to Shabab Hussein this week and are now 7th in the league.

Shabab Urdun will play in Group D alongside Bahrain’s Rifaa and Kyrgystan’s Alay Osh.

Last year, Shabab Urdun won the 61st Jordan Professional League for their second time after the 2005/06 title in their first season in the league.

This season, Shabab Urdun were eliminated by Bahrain’s Al Hidd in their inaugural match of the preliminary round of the AFC Asian Champions League.

Shabab Urdun also lost to Bahrain’s Al Hidd in Round 1 of the Arab Football Association Clubs Cup losing on aggregate following 1-1 and 0-0 draws. The previous season saw Baqaa eliminated from the inaugural cup losing to Algeria’s USM.

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