Preview - Group I: First 2021 AFC Champions League win the target for Beijing FC and United City FC
Tashkent: United City FC of the Philippines and Beijing FC face off at Lokomotiv Stadium on Thursday in pursuit of a first win in the 2021 AFC Champions League Group I.
The two sides opened their campaign against each other in a game that produced two fine strikes and no winner. Stephan Schrock curled in United City’s first-ever AFC Champions League goal in style after 28 minutes, but Liang Shaowen matched him with a sublime free-kick to equalise in the 73rd minute for the young Beijing FC side.
That opening-day point remains the solitary one collected by either of the two teams in a group that pitted them against the vastly more experienced Kawasaki Frontale and Daegu FC.
Preview - Group I: Daegu’s Lee chasing AFC Champions League revenge in group-defining Kawasaki Frontale clash
Tashkent: Daegu FC head coach Lee Byung-geun said he was eager to avoid a second defeat to Kawasaki Frontale ahead of the potentially decisive AFC Champions League meeting between the two sides on Thursday.
Kawasaki beat the Korean outfit 3-2 back on Matchday One, with both teams piling on goals and wins ever since to ensure the three-point lead established by Toru Oniki’s side back then remains in place going into each side's penultimate match in the group.
That means Daegu will have the chance to leapfrog the reigning J1 League champions into the group leadership at Bunyodkor Stadium, putting themselves into an exceptionally strong position to advance to the Round of 16 for the first time in the process .
Preview - Group F: Ulsan Hyundai confident of handling Viettel threat to secure AFC Champions League Round of 16 seat
Bangkok: Ulsan Hyundai FC head coach Hong Myung-bo is confident that his charges can repeat their success against Viettel FC when the two teams meet on Matchday Five of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Thursday.
Ulsan, who are on a 13-match winning streak in the AFC Champions League, lead Group F with 12 points and a win on Thursday will keep them in the driver's seat to book a place in the Round of 16. Thailand's BG Pathum United are second on nine points while Viettel are no longer in contention for a place in the knockout stage with just three points to their name.
Preview - Group F: Pathum United focused on victory, Kaya FC-Iloilo aiming for AFC Champions League upset
Bangkok: BG Pathum United head coach Aurelio is focused only on getting three points against Kaya FC-Iloilo when the two sides meet on Matchday Five of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Thursday.
Ulsan Hyundai FC lead Group F on 12 points, with BG Pathum United - three behind in second place - facing a must-win situation against already eliminated Kaya FC-Iloilo if they are to keep pace with the defending champions in the race to finish top and seal the sole automatic spot in the Round of 16.
Group G: Johor Darul Ta'zim, Ratchaburi share spoils to bring AFC Champions League challenge to a close
Bangkok: Johor Darul Ta'zim and Ratchaburi FC shared a 0-0 draw to bring their 2021 AFC Champions League Group G campaigns to an end at the Rajamangala Stadium on Wednesday.
The result meant Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim finished third on four points, two ahead of Ratchaburi of Thailand. Nagoya Grampus of Japan won the group to seal their place in the Round of 16 while Korea Republic side Poahng Steelers will have to wait to know whether they will advance into the knockout stage as one of the three best runners-up.
Group H: Gamba Osaka see off Tampines Rovers to keep AFC Champions League flame burning
Tashkent: Gamba Osaka boosted their hopes of reaching the 2021 AFC Champions League Round of 16 with an emphatic 8-1 win over a hard-working Tampines Rovers FC side on Matchday Five of Group H on Wednesday.
With Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors having confirmed top spot after defeating Chiangrai United 3-1 in Wednesday's late match, Gamba Osaka's knockout stage fate now depends on the Japanese side advancing as one of the three best runners-up from the East zone.
Tampines Rovers, meanwhile, put in a tenacious performance having lost their previous two games against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors with a combined 13 goals to none and were rewarded with their first-ever AFC Champions League goal with Daniel Bennett finding the back of the net in the 27th minute.