GLOBAL FC takes on Tampines Rovers on Tuesday night in the first round of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League qualifiers at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
After participating in the second-tier AFC Cup in 2015, the Philippine representative has a chance to step into the top tier of club competition in Asia, but first has to get past the qualifying stage where the squad gained a spot after ruling the local United Football League (UFL) last season.
Global faces a familiar first road block in Singaporean club Tampines, which eliminated the Filipino club from the Singapore Cup last year after their two-legged quarterfinal matchup.
Now, the Dan Palami-owned PH club seeks to gain a measure of vengeance as it hosts its tormentors this time in the match that kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
The winner of the match will play two more knockout matches before advancing to the group stage of the Champions League where powerhouse clubs from Australia, Japan, and South Korea converge.
Global has bolstered its squad for its first major competition of the year, signing Brazilian defender Rafael Dumas on loan from Brazilian side Flamengo, and Shu Sasaki of Japan, while also getting back national team midfielder Paul Mulders from Ceres-La Salle.
Global has also tapped Japanese coach Toshiaki Imai, who owns a coaching license required to coach in the AFC Champions League, to steer a side still bannered by Azkals stars Misagh Bahadoran and Amani Aguinaldo, among others.