Tokyo: Diego Castro has spoken of his delight at being part of Perth Glory’s maiden AFC Champions League campaign as the Australian side get set for their Group F opener against FC Tokyo on Tuesday.
As 2018-19 A-League Premiers, the Western Australia club qualified for the competition for the first time and, after last week’s match against Shanghai Shenhua was postponed, they will make their tournament bow away at Tokyo Stadium.
For their veteran skipper Castro, who has been at Perth since 2015, the chance to test their wits against the best in Asia marks the realisation of a dream for a player who made well over 200 La Liga appearances for Sporting Gijon and Getafe in his native Spain.
Kuala Lumpur: The dust has barely settled on Matchday One as the second round of 2020 AFC Champions League Group Stage fixtures comes within a week of the openers, with 10 teams in the East Zone set to face off.
Having sat out last week's fixtures, Korea Republic duo FC Seoul and Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Australian pair Perth Glory and Sydney FC and China PR's Beijing FC all make their first starts in this year's competition.
Kuala Lumpur: Quick off the back of a thrilling opening matchday that saw 20 goals scored in eight West Asia fixtures, the 2020 AFC Champions League group stage continues with Matchday Two action on Monday and Tuesday.
With Al Hilal having successfully got their title defence underway in the previous round of fixtures, this week sees AFC Champions League football played across six countries, with Kuwait featuring as an alternative home for Al Ahli Saudi FC.
Kuala Lumpur: The 2020 AFC Champions League got off to a flying start last week with 24 teams in action across Asia as the Continent's biggest club competition kicked off its 18th edition.
With 32 goals in 12 games, including a resounding win for a tournament debutant and a heavy loss for a side on a miserable run, join the-AFC.com as we take a look at the facts and figures that caught the eye in the first week in numbers of the new campaign.
Jeonju: Yokohama F. Marinos goalscorer Keita Endo admitted the disappointment of losing the Japanese Super Cup motivated the side to bounce back with a 2-1 win in the 2020 AFC Champions League opener on Wednesday.
J.League champions Yokohama put on a commanding performance at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in their Group H Matchday One tie against Korea Republic's reigning club kings Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
The visitors' stranglehold on the match resulted in nearly 68 percent possession with 19 shots on goal, dwarfing their hosts' statistics of 32 percent possession and seven shots respectively. It was an effort, said Endo, that was inspired by their defeat in Saturday's Japanese Super Cup to Vissel Kobe.
Kobe: Thorsten Fink warned Vissel Kobe’s future opponents in the AFC Champions League there is more to come from his side after the J.League club handed Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta’zim a 5-1 defeat without the services of key midfielder Hotaru Yamaguchi.
The Japan international was ruled out of the game due to fever but his absence had little impact on Vissel as Andres Iniesta inspired the Emperor’s Cup winners to a comfortable win, with Keijiro Ogawa scoring a hat-trick as Kobe signaled their intent in the 2020 AFC Champions League.
Toivonen: Melbourne Victory had to overcome nerves
Melbourne: Ola Toivonen has admitted that Melbourne Victory had to survive a tense second half to claim a hard-fought 1-0 win over Thailand’s Chiangrai United in their opening 2020 AFC Champions League Group E match on Tuesday.
Swedish forward Toivanen’s penalty midway through the first half proved the difference at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium as the Australian side moved to the top of the standings, with both Beijing FC and FC Seoul not in action.
But, while the hosts were the better side, their last win in the competition came back in April 2018 and they picked up just one point in six games in a disastrous 2019 campaign, something their skipper alluded to.