KAYA FC-Iloilo faces Chinese club Shanghai Port FC in an AFC Champions League playoff match at the Pathum Thani Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday, June 23.
The winner of the playoff match between Kaya FC-Iloilo and Shanghai Port FC joins Group F with Thai League champion BG Pathum United, South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai FC and Vietnam’s Viettel FC.
Kaya FC-Iloilo, the runner-up of the Philippines Football League (PFL) 2020 season, is fielding a much improved squad along with a new head coach, Graham Havey.
Kaya FC-Iloilo bolstered its roster by signing promising former UAAP MVP Jarvey Gayoso, Stallion Laguna FC stars Jan Jan Melliza and Fitch Arboleda, Japanese midfielder Ryo Fujii and Ghanaian striker Patrick Asare.
The other international players that will be playing for Kaya FC-Iloilo are Carlyle Mitchell, Daizo Horikoshi and Masanari Omura.
Kaya FC-Iloilo advanced to the playoff stage after Aussie club Brisbane Roar backed out from the preliminary stage.
Shanghai Port, along with other Chinese clubs Guangzhou FC and Beijing Guoan, reportedly won’t be sending its best squad because of a clash in schedules. The Chinese clubs instead are sending a mix of youth and reserve players, which could be an advantage for Kaya FC-Iloilo.
If Kaya FC-Iloilo loses to Shanghai Port FC, the Filipino club will be eliminated from the AFC Champions League and will join Group I in the second tier AFC Cup. Kaya FC-Iloilo is grouped with Singapore’s Geylang International FC, Malaysia’s Terengganu FC and the victor of the match between Cambodia’s Visakha FC and Timor-Leste’s Lalenok United FC.