Beijing FC, FC Tokyo looking to break new ground in AFC Champions League Round of 16 clash
Doha: One of Beijing FC or FC Tokyo will become AFC Champions League quarter-finalists for the first time when they clash in the Round of 16 at Education City Stadium on Sunday.
Unbeaten Group E winners with a club record 16 points, Beijing were one of the standout sides in the group stage, but they’ll need to buck a historical trend if they are to go any further in the competition.
The Chinese outfit have reached the knockout stage on three separate occasions - the most recent coming in 2015 - but fell at the first hurdle each time, with all three defeats coming against Korean opposition.
AFC Champions League: The race for the Golden Boot
Doha: As the race to be crowned Asia’s premier club reaches its final two weeks, attention also turns to the battle for the 2020 AFC Champions League Golden Boot.
While Al Nassr’s seven-goal striker Abderazzaq Hamdallah announced himself as the king of the West earlier in the competition, there are still several candidates from the East who could topple the Moroccan star in the remaining rounds.
Join the-AFC.com as we examine five of the current contenders for most important scoring title in Asian football, all of whom could still be crowned the Golden Boot winner for 2020.
AFC Champions League (East) - Round of 16: Players to Watch
Doha: No sooner has the group stage of the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) come to a close that the Round of 16 is upon us with four enticing fixtures to take place across Sunday and Monday.
Some of the Continent's finest players have been on show in Qatar with established names and emerging talents displaying their ability in Asia's most prestigious club competition.
With the knockout rounds now leaving no margin for error, the-AFC.com profiles eight stars who have shone in the group stage and will be crucial to their sides' chances of going deeper into the tournament.
AFC Champions League (EAST) Toyota Player of the Week: Daiki Niwa
Doha: FC Tokyo's Daiki Niwa has been voted by the fans as the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) Toyota Player of the Week after an impressive performance in his side's 1-0 win over Perth Glory on Matchday Six as they advanced to the knockout rounds.
The veteran defender had an 83 percent duel success rate, made three interceptions and completed 62 passes at an 87 percent accuracy that saw him ranked fifth in Stats Perform's – the Asian Football Confederation's official data provider – list of nominees for the accolade with a 7.6 rating.
Ulsan Hyundai FC aiming to stay on track in AFC Champions League Round of 16 clash against Melbourne Victory
Doha: Fit, focused and fresh from a scorching group stage campaign, Ulsan Hyundai FC will be chasing more of the same when they face Australia’s Melbourne Victory in the AFC Champions League Round of 16 at Education City Stadium on Sunday.
Frustrated to have narrowly missed out on domestic league and cup honours, Kim Do-hoon’s side have been untouchable in Doha, winning all five matches since arriving in the Qatari capital to register a total 16 points from six matches.
Such was their dominance of Group F that an Ulsan outfit featuring just one of the 11 players from their previous outing eased to a 4-1 win over Shanghai Shenhua on Thursday, in a match where the Chinese side were fighting to stay alive in the tournament.
Postecoglou: Yokohama F. Marinos well placed ahead of AFC Champions League Round of 16
Doha: Yokohama F, Marinos head coach Ange Postecoglou believes his side are right where they need to be ahead of the AFC Champions League knockout stage, after they completed their group stage campaign with a 1-1 draw against Sydney FC on Friday.
Postecoglou changed the entire line-up from Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors – which qualified Yokohama for the Round of 16 – with Yuki Saneto firing the Japanese side ahead in the 18th minute before Sydney’s Trent Buhagiar levelled the tie just before the half-hour mark.
Morais bids emotional farewell to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors after AFC Champions League win over Shanghai SIPG
Doha: Head Coach Jose Morais was in an emotional mood as he said farewell to the Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors players and fans after the final game of his two-year spell at the club ended in a 2-0 win over Shanghai SIPG on Matchday Six of the 2020 AFC Champions League on Friday.
The 55-year-old joined Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in 2018, replacing club legend Choi Kang-hee at the helm, and despite the magnitude of the task in hand, Morais established himself as a fan favourite, bringing home back-to-back K League 1 titles in his two seasons at the club and added a Korean FA Cup trophy just before travelling to Doha.