2021 AFC Champions League (East): 5 Things To Look Out For
Kuala Lumpur: The kick off to the 2021 AFC Champions League (East) is now just hours away as 20 sides across five groups get set to battle it out in the group stage of Asia's premier club competition.
An expanded format sees teams from Vietnam and Singapore return for the first time in a number of years, while there is also an AFC Champions League debut for the Philippines as sides from Southeast Asia play a more prominent role.
With holders Ulsan Hyundai as well as former winners Gamba Osaka, Guangzhou FC, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Pohang Steelers in the mix, the-AFC.com has selected five things to look out for ahead of the opening games on June 22.
Patience was key to Nagoya Grampus' AFC Champions League victory against Johor Darul Ta’zim, says Ficcadenti
Bangkok: Patience is a virtue and head coach Massimo Ficcadenti believes Japan's Nagoya Grampus were rewarded with a 1-0 victory over Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim in Group G of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday for showing composure.
Nagoya’s Hiroyoki Abe scored the only goal of the game in a tightly contested affair at the Rajamangala Stadium.
The Japanese side are second in the standings behind Korea Republic’s Pohang Steelers, who have a better goal difference following their 2-0 win over Thailand's Ratchaburi FC in the group's other tie on Tuesday.
Kim demands more from Pohang Steelers despite AFC Champions League win against Ratchaburi
Bangkok: Pohang Steelers head coach Kim Gi-dong has urged his side to be more clinical in front of goal following their 2-0 victory against Thailand’s Ratchaburi FC in Group G of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
Pohang secured the three points thanks to efforts from Boris Tashchy and Lim Sang-Hyub with the K-League 1 club leading the standings on goal difference after Japan’s Nagoya Grampus opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over , Johor Darul Ta’zim of Malaysia.
Preview - Playoff: Shanghai Port in the way as Kaya FC chase AFC Champions League dream
Bangkok: Kaya FC-Iloilo are one step away from making their AFC Champions League debut but perennial contenders Shanghai Port FC stand in their way as the China PR club aim to make a sixth consecutive appearance in the tournament.
The winners of the playoff tie at the Pathum Thani Stadium tomorrow will advance to Group F, where they will join hosts BG Pathum United of Thailand, defending champions Ulsan Hyundai FC of Korea Republic and Vietnam's Viettel FC.
Tashkent: The kick off to the 2021 AFC Champions (East) is now just days away with the four teams in Group H beginning their campaigns in Uzbekistan on Friday.
And it's a group with plenty of pedigree as two-time AFC Champions League winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea Republic and 2008 champions Gamba Osaka of Japan lead the cast. The pair are joined by Thailand's Chiangrai United, who return for the second successive year, and Singaporean debutants Tampines Rovers.
Tashkent: Uzbekistan's capital welcomes Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale, Korea Republic's Daegu FC, United City FC of the Philippines and China PR's Beijing FC to Group I of the 2021 AFC Champions League with the action kicking off on Saturday.
Three J1 League titles in the past four years and leading the way this time, Kawasaki will look to bring domestic dominance to the continent, while Daegu return for a second time, Beijing rely on youthful zest and United City are set to make their long-awaited debut in the AFC Champions League.
Buriram: Thailand's Buriram Stadium will see hosts Port FC welcome China PR's Guangzhou FC, Hong Kong champions Kitchee SC and Cerezo Osaka of Japan to Group J of the 2021 AFC Champions League with the action set to kick off on Thursday.
The 2021 edition sees Port make their long-awaited debut in the AFC Champions League while Kitchee return for the first time since 2018 boasting a continental superstar with a record in his sights.