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Preview - Round of 16: Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN) vs Ulsan Hyundai (KOR)


Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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Saitama: A battle of former Continental champions sees two-time winners Urawa Red Diamonds host 2012 champions Ulsan Hyundai in the AFC Champions League's last 16 at Saitama Stadium on Wednesday.


Both Urawa, who debuted at the 2007 edition, and Ulsan, who first appeared at the 2006 competition, have a rich history in the Continent's premier club competition, and both know what it takes to lift the AFC Champions League title.

So it may come as some surprise that their Round of 16 meeting will in fact be their first time facing off against each other at this level.

Urawa, winners of the 2007 crown, were unable to defend their 2017 title, after failing to qualify for the 2018 tournament, but have come back strongly in 2019 and are taking part in the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League for the fifth time in their history,

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They come into the match boosted by Saturday's 2-1 win over Sagan Tosu that featured a late Shinzo Koroki winner, although midfielder Kazuki Nagasawa will miss out due to a suspension.

Ulsan, too, chalked up a domestic win over the weekend thanks to Kang Min-soo's goal in a 1-0 defeat of Pohang Steelers, and the Koreans continue to look impressive both in the K-League and on the Continent.

Kim Do-hoon's side are in the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League for the fourth time in their history (2006, 2012 and 2018).

And Ulsan's record when the tournament reaches the second phase is impressive: they have won 10 of their previous 12 matches.

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