Kuala Lumpur: The opening round of fixtures in the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 saw a number of global icons make their debuts in Asia’s most prestigious club competition as another exciting edition of the tournament got underway.
The 40 teams from across the continent will return to action once more in the week ahead with 20 games taking place between Monday and Wednesday. Ahead of the Matchday Two fixtures, the-AFC.com has selected five things to look out for.
Hong Kong: Kim Dong-jin has taken over as interim head coach of Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee, replacing Alex Chu at the helm less than a week before the club’s AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 meeting with Singapore’s Lion City Sailors in Group F.
Chu led Kitchee to the treble of the Hong Kong Premier League, Hong Kong FA Cup and the Senior Shield last season as well as taking the club into the knockout rounds of the AFC Champions League for the first time but will now work with the club’s academy.
Mikael: The ACL is tough but Kitchee will bounce back
Hong Kong: Having scored one of the most spectacular AFC Champions League™ goals in recent times, Kitchee SC forward Mikael Severo has surely guaranteed his place in the 2023-24 edition's highlights reel.
The 30-year-old Brazilian let fly with a bicycle kick from an acute angle in a jaw-dropping strike against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors that caught the attention of football lovers from across the continent.
Despite a narrow 2-1 loss in Korea Republic, the Hong Kong champions now have back-to-back home games and are aiming to reach the knockout stage for the second successive season.
The-AFC.com caught up with Mikael to discuss his hopes for the campaign, the rise of the AFC Champions League and, of course, that goal.