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Round of 16 1st Leg: East Zone Preview

Kuala Lumpur: The 2019 AFC Champions League resumes in the coming days with the eight remaining teams in the East Zone to play the first legs of their Round of 16 match-ups.

Domestic rivals clash in Japan and China on Tuesday while the 2016 and 2017 champions are among the sides who will take to the field on Wednesday.

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Kashima Antlers v Sanfrecce Hiroshima

Defending champions Kashima Antlers will host fellow J.League team Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Tuesday with both sides up against same-country opposition for the first time ever in the competition.

The holders somewhat laboured to last 16 qualification, needing a come-from-behind victory over already qualified Shandong Luneng in their final Group E game to progress in second place.

In stark contrast, Sanfrecce rebounded from an opening-day defeat to Guangzhou Evergrande to win five in a row and top the Group F standings.


Kashima Antlers (JPN) vs Sanfrecce Hiroshima (JPN)
Venue: Kashima Soccer Stadium, Ibaraki
Kick-off: June 18, 19:00 UTC+9

Guangzhou Evergrande v Shandong Luneng

Two-time AFC Champions League winners Guangzhou Evergrande will welcome Chinese Super League rivals Shandong Luneng to Tianhe Stadium on Tuesday for the first leg of their Round of 16 encounter.

Guangzhou won all three of their home games in Group F but picked up just one point on the road and required a Matchday Six victory over Daegu FC to confirm their place in the knockout rounds.

Shandong, meanwhile, secured their last 16 berth with a game to spare as they topped Group E ahead of defending champions Kashima Antlers on their return to the competition following a three-year hiatus.


Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) vs Shandong Luneng (CHN)
Venue: Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou
Kick-off: June 18, 20:00 UTC+8

Urawa Red Diamonds vs Ulsan Hyundai

Former champions will collide in Saitama on Wednesday as 2017 winners Urawa Red Diamonds take on their 2012 counterparts Ulsan Hyundai in a game that sees the sides go head-to-head for the first time.

The hosts came through a tough Group G but needed a Matchday Six win over Beijing FC to take the runners-up spot behind Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Ulsan were one of the form teams of the group stage, going undefeated in their first five games to top Group H with a game to spare.


Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN) vs Ulsan Hyundai (KOR)
Venue: Saitama Stadium, Saitama
Kick-off: June 19, 19:30 UTC+9

Shanghai SIPG v Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Shanghai SIPG and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will square off in the first leg of the last 16 on Wednesday as the sides meet for the first time since the 2016 quarter-finals.

The Chinese team needed a win over Ulsan Hyundai on Matchday Six to seal their place in the knockout rounds for the fourth successive year and they will be looking to avenge the 5-0 aggregate loss four years ago.

Jeonbuk, the 2016 champions, showed why they are again among the tournament favourites, progressing on top of Group G after twice beating both Urawa Red Diamonds and Beijing FC to qualify with a game to spare.


Shanghai SIPG (CHN) vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR)
Venue: Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai
Kick-off: June 19, 20:00 UTC+8

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