Cautious Afonso confident of taking Dempo to AFC Cup semis

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Margao, May 25 (UNI) Sounding a cautious note ahead of the AFC Cup quarter-finals, Dempo coach Mauricio Afonso said his team will have to work very hard to reach the last four stage.

''We are very happy to be in the quarter-finals for the first time but it will be tough for us,'' Afonso told www.the-afc.com.

''There is no easy team in this stage of the competition. We will have to work very hard and win both the legs,'' he added.

The I-league champions have drawn to play Singapore's Home United in the AFC Cup quarter-finals.

Afonso was confident that his boys will overcome the Singapore club and reach the semifinals.

''The morale of the team is very high at the moment because we won the last match with ease and the players would be aiming to repeat the same performance against Home United,'' he said.

However, he warned that playing the first leg at home could prove to be a disadvantage.

''It is much better to play the first leg away as we can study the opponent team and play the second leg at home in front of the home crowd,'' he stated. ''Now, we should win the first leg comfortably.'' Dempo, who were placed in Group A in the league stage, outclassed Sur Club of Oman 5-2 in their last group game to qualify for the knockout stage as the best runners-up team while Muharraq beat Al Ansar to take the top spot.

UNI XC AB KN1310

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