Beijing: Former RCD Mallorca coach Gregorio Manzano has agreed to take charge of AFC Champions League qualification hopefuls Beijing Guoan, Spanish daily Marca has reported.
Manzano, who led Mallorca to the 2002/03 Copa del Rey title in the first of his three stints with the Palma-based club, has been manager of numerous La Liga clubs including Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, and Malaga.
The 57-year-old Spaniard (pictured) replaces Aleksandar Stanojević, ironically a former Mallorca player, who led Beijing Guoan to a third-place finish in the Chinese Super League and to the semi-finals of the Chinese FA Cup during his time with the club.
Manzano will be assisted at Beijing Guoan by Jose Gonzalez. The ex-Cadiz coach is no stranger to Chinese football having spent the 1996/97 season with Tianjin Lifei at the tail end of his playing career.
Beijing Guoan will take on Thailand’s Chonburi in the third and final round of 2014 AFC Champions League play-offs with the winners of Saturday’s match at the Beijing Workers Stadium booking their place in Group F, where last year’s runners-up FC Seoul, Sanfrecce Hiroshima from Japan and Australian champions Central Coast Mariners await.
Sydney: FC Seoul coach Choi Yong-soo blamed crucial lapses in concentration as FC Seoul lost Wednesday's AFC Champions League semi-final second leg 2-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers to miss out on a second consecutive final appearance.
Former finalist Eugene Galekovic has hailed Western Sydney Wanderers for becoming the second Australian side to reach the AFC Champions League final ahead of Saturday's first leg, although the veteran goalkeeper is amazed by the speed in which the A-League's newest side have followed up Adelaide United's 2008 achievement.
Kuala Lumpur: Both Al Hilal and Western Sydney Wanderers were beaten in their repsective leagues over the weekend, dealing the duo a potentially damaging psychological blow ahead of next Saturday's AFC Champions League final first leg encounter in Australia.