Ankle surgery ends Guangzhou Evergrande defender Zhang Linpeng's AFC Champions League campaign
Doha: Guangzhou Evergrande defender Zhang Linpeng will take no further part in the 2020 AFC Champions League after undergoing surgery on his ankle in Qatar, the Chinese Super League club has announced.
Zhang, a member of the Guangzhou squad that won the AFC Champions League title in 2013 and 2015, sustained the injury to his right ankle early in his side’s 3-1 defeat to Vissel Kobe on November 25.
Guangzhou announced the 31-year-old China PR international had undergone an operation on the affected area and would be out of action for at least six weeks.
2020 AFC Champions League (East): 5 Things To Look Out For
Doha: After a whirlwind two weeks, the final round of fixtures in the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) group stage has arrived with plenty still to be decided on Thursday and Friday
While five of the eight positions in the knockout rounds have now been claimed after the latest set of matches, three places remain up for grabs with four crucial fixtures to take place in Groups E, F and G to decide the runners-up spots.
As fans of Asian football await yet more drama in the Continent's premier club competition, the-AFC.com has chosen five things to look out for ahead of the matches.
Guangzhou Evergrande's performance frustrates Cannavaro in AFC Champions League draw with Suwon Samsung Bluewings
Doha: Guangzhou Evergrande head coach Fabio Cannavaro conceded that his side lacked in many areas as they settled for a 1-1 draw against Suwon Samsung Bluewings in Group G of the 2020 AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
After a quiet first half, Suwon Samsung finally got off the mark in the competition through Lim Sang-heyob’s tap-in on the rebound from Lee Ki-je’s free-kick. Wei Shihao equalised for Guangzhou Evergrande in the 72nd minute, but they were reduced to 10 men just two minutes later as Zhon Yihao was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
The draw meant Suwon Samsung Bluewings need to beat runaway group leaders Vissel Kobe with two goals if they are to snatch the second place in the group, currently occupied by Guangzhou Evergrande who have already completed their group stage fixtures.
Genesio to place trust in Beijing’s next-in-line in AFC Champions League clash with Chiangrai United
Doha: Head coach Bruno Genesio is prepared to give his Beijing FC stars a day off, but still expects a quality performance in his side’s AFC Champions League dead rubber against eliminated Chiangrai United on Thursday.
The Chinese side have the best record in the competition’s East Zone, winning all five of their matches in a manner which suggests they may well be among the title contenders in two weeks' time.
With nothing on the line for either side in Thursday’s clash at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Genesio believes he has a responsibility to allow his senior players to recover ahead of the knockout stage but backs those who come into the side to perform at a similar level.
Shanghai Shenhua focused on keeping up their end of AFC Champions League bargain, says Choi
Doha: Their 2020 AFC Champions League destiny remains in the balance and may ultimately hinge on a match they will play no part in, but Shanghai Shenhua are fully focused on beating Ulsan Hyundai in their final Group F match, according to head coach Choi Kang-hee.
With seven points, Shenhua are neck and neck with FC Tokyo in the race for the Round of 16, with the Chinese outfit needing to better Tokyo’s result in their simultaneous fixture against Perth Glory to keep their hopes alive.
AFC Champions League (EAST) Toyota Player of the Week: Theerathon Bunmathan
Doha: Yokohama F. Marinos' Theerathon Bunmathan has been voted by the fans as the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) Toyota Player of the Week after a goalscoring performance in his side's 4-1 victory over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Tuesday.
The Thai left-back's blistering strike was his standout moment in an excellent all-round display that saw him ranked third in Stats Perform's – the Asian Football Confederation's official data provider – list of nominees for the accolade with an 8.4 rating.