Cerezo Osaka's Culpi looks ahead after AFC Champions League win against Guangzhou
Buriram: With a win over Guangzhou FC secured in their opening Group J clash in the 2021 AFC Champions League on Thursday, Levir Culpi is hoping his Cerezo Osaka side can improve as the J-League side look to secure a place in the next round of the continental competition.
Goals from Hiroaki Okuno and Tiago Pagnussat eased Culpi’s side past the Chinese club at Buriram Stadium to give the Japanese the perfect start on their quest for top spot in the standings and the guaranteed berth that comes with it in the next round.
Damjanovic expects more AFC Champions League goals as he eyes record
Buriram: Dejan Damjanovic is refusing to rest on his laurels after pulling level with Lee Dong-gook at the top of the AFC Champions League’s all-time scoring charts on Thursday when he scored Kitchee SC’s second goal in their 2-0 win over Port FC.
The former Montenegro international claimed his 37th goal in the competition to confirm Kitchee’s win after Roberto had given his side the lead eight minutes before half time, and a confident Damjanovic is sure he will continue hitting the back of the net during the remaining Group J games.
Yoon motivated by Ulsan Hyundai's 'team to beat' tag in AFC Champions League
Bangkok: Yoon Bit-garam has insisted being the team everyone wants to beat will inspire Ulsan Hyundai FC as the holders get set to kick off their 2021 AFC Champions League campaign in Thailand on Saturday.
Having drawn their tournament opener in early 2020 prior to the onset of COVID-19, Ulsan were unstoppable when the competition resumed later in the year in Qatar, going on a record-equaling nine-game winning streak that culminated in a 2-1 victory over Persepolis FC in the final as the K League 1 side added to the continental title they won in 2012.
Yoon was an integral part of the championship-winning team, scoring four and creating a further three as he picked up the MVP award on the back of a campaign in which his performances lit up the tournament.
Preview - Group G: Nagoya Grampus, Pohang Steelers in race for early AFC Champions League advantage
Bangkok: Japan’s Nagoya Grampus and Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic will be aiming to maintain their winning momentum when they meet in Group G of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Friday.
The two sides opened their campaigns with wins and with only the group winners assured of a place in the Round of 16, both will be eager for another three points which would see them open a gap at the top of the standings.
Nagoya worked hard to defeat Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim 1-0 on Matchday One while Pohang beat Thailand’s Ratchaburi FC 2-0.
Preview - Group H: Chiangrai United relishing AFC Champions League tie with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Tashkent: Thailand’s Chiangrai United kick-off their second consecutive AFC Champions League campaign on Friday as they take on two-time winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at Bunyodkor Stadium in Group H.
After failing to navigate the playoff stage in two attempts, Chiangrai United finally made their group stage debut last year. The campaign ended in heartbreak as they finished bottom of the group, but there were plenty of positives for the Thai side including a maiden win against Korea Republic’s FC Seoul.
Preview - Group H: Tampines Rovers highly motivated ahead of AFC Champions League debut against Gamba Osaka
Tashkent: Tampines Rovers are determined to do Singaporean football proud in their first AFC Champions League appearance, starting with a strong showing against 2008 winners Gamba Osaka at Lokomotiv Stadium on Friday.
The first team from the Garden City in a decade to appear on Asian club football’s greatest stage, the Stags arrived in Uzbekistan as outsiders in a group featuring two former AFC Champions League winners.
But despite their decorated Group H rivals, last year’s Singapore Premier League runners-up won't turn their backs on the freewheeling style that has made them one of Southeast Asia’s most watchable teams in 2021.