Preview - East Zone: Preliminary Stage 2
Kuala Lumpur: The second preliminary round of qualifying for the 2019 AFC Champions League takes place on Tuesday when a total eight teams from the West and East Zones will book their place in the competition’s playoff phase.
Join the-AFC.com as we take a look at the eight hopefuls from the East Zone aiming to advance to the playoffs on February 19.
Perak (MAS) v Kitchee SC (HKG)
Perak Stadium, Ipoh; Tuesday, 2100 local time
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Malaysia Super League runners-up Perak will appear in the qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League for the first time having had limited experience of playing in continental competitions. The club was represented in the 1969 and 1971 Asian Club Championship, and also played in the AFC Cup in 2004 – when they reached the quarter-finals – and 2005.
How they qualified: Malaysia Super League runners-up No previous AFC Champions League appearances
After being granted an automatic berth in the group stage of the 2018 edition of the AFC Champions League, Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee (pictured above) find themselves in the preliminary phase for the 2019 edition. This will be their fifth appearance in Asia’s premier club competition.
How they qualified: Hong Kong Premier League champions
Past ACLs: 2015 – Playoffs; 2016 – Playoffs; 2017 – Playoffs; 2018 – Group Stage
Bangkok United (THA) v Hanoi FC (VIE)
Thammasat Stadium, Pathum Thani; Tuesday, 1900 local time
Bangkok United (pictured above) will make their third appearance in the AFC Champions League and their second in three seasons after last featuring in the qualifying rounds back in 2017. The club secured their spot in this season’s preliminary phase courtesy of a runners-up finish in the 2018 Thai Premier League.
How they qualified: Thai League T1 runners-up
Past ACLs: 2007 – Playoffs; 2017 – Playoffs
Hanoi (pictured above in a friendly against Chiangrai United) missed out on the 2018 AFC Champions League but return to the qualifying rounds for the fifth time in six years for the 2019 season. The club have yet to advance to the group phase of the competition, slipping out in the playoffs in 2014, 2015 2016 and 2017.
How they qualified: V.League 1 winners
Past ACLs: 2014 – Playoffs, 2015 – Playoffs; 2016 – Playoffs; 2017 – Playoffs
Chiangrai United (THA) v Yangon United FC (MYA)
Singha Stadium, Chiang Rai; Tuesday, 1900 local time
Chiangrai United return to the qualifying rounds of the AFC Champions League after narrowly missing out on a place in the group stage in 2018. The Thai FA Cup winners pushed big-spending Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG all the way in the final playoff round before slipping to a 1-0 defeat having earlier seen off Bali United of Indonesia.
How they qualified: Thai FA Cup winners
Past ACLs: 2018 – Playoffs
Yangon United FC
Kaung Htet Soe’s winner in last week’s 2-1 victory away at Ceres Negros saw Yangon United (pictured above) safely navigate the first round of qualifying and set up their clash with Chiangrai United. They qualified for the 2019 edition after winning the Myanmar National League by a point ahead of Shan United.
How they qualified: Myanmar National League champions
Past ACLs: 2016 – Playoffs
Newcastle Jets (AUS) v Persija Jakarta (IDN)
Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle; Tuesday 1900 local time
Newcastle Jets return to the AFC Champions League for the first time in a decade after the club secured a third-place finish in the 2017-18 A-League campaign. Newcastle’s previous appearance in the Continental championship saw them successfully negotiate the group stage before losing to Korea Republic’s Pohang Steelers in the Round of 16.
How they qualified: A-League Premiership 3rd place
Past ACLs: 2009 – Round of 16
Last week’s 3-1 victory over Home United in Singapore ensured a perfect start to their debut AFC Champions League campaign for Persija Jakarta. The 2018 Indonesia League 1 title winners competed in the AFC Cup last season, reaching the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals before losing 6-3 on aggregate to Home United.
How they qualified: Indonesia League 1 champions
No previous AFC Champions League appearances
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