One Month to #ACL2022 (West) Round of 16 - How Are They Shaping Up
Dubai: The long wait is nearly over with exactly one month left until the start of the AFC Champions League™ 2022 Round of 16 (West) where eight teams will battle out for the right to play Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds in the final.
Despite playing in the second tier domestically, Al Faisaly join fellow Saudi clubs Al Hilal SFC and Al Shabab as well as Qatari duo Al Duhail and Al Rayyan, UAE’s Shabab Al Ahli, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Foolad Khouzestan and 2021 AFC Cup™ runners-up FC Nasaf of Uzbekistan.
Join the-AFC.com as we take a look at how the teams are shaping up for the Round of 16 scheduled for February 19-20 in Doha, Qatar.
Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today confirmed the new dates of the AFC Champions League 2022™ Round of 16, Quarter-finals and Semi-final centralised matches in the West region as well as the two-legged Final.
The Round of 16 (West) has been rescheduled from February 3 and 4, 2023 to February 19 and 20, while the Quarter-finals will be held on February 23 before the Semi-final is staged on February 26.
Kuala Lumpur: After four days and seven matches of thrilling action in Saitama, the identity of the east region’s representative at the 2022 AFC Champions League Final was revealed: Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds.
With memorable moments a-plenty as a number of teams and players wrote new chapters into their histories. The-AFC.com looks back at what those involved had to say.
Kuala Lumpur: The 2022 AFC Champions League (EAST) knockout stage was held over the past two weeks in Saitama as a whirlwind few days of action ended in Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds booking their place in next February’s grand finale.
From the 19 teams that took part in the group stage (EAST) when it kicked off back in April just one remains as the representative to face the best of the west and be crowned kings of Asia.
With the competition now taking a break until the action returns with the knockout stages in the West next year, the-AFC.com looks back at the numbers that stood out after the recent set of games.
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds head coach Ricardo Rodriguez was confident his side would prevail in their penalty shootout against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors as the Japanese outfit secured their spot in February’s AFC Champions League™ 2022 final at the end of a dramatic semi-final at Saitama Stadium 2002 on Thursday.
Goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa saved penalties from Kim Bo-kyung and Lee Seung-gi to set up a 3-1 shoot-out win for the two-time winners after a breathless conclusion to extra-time saw the game end in a 2-2 draw.
Yusuke Matsuo put Urawa in front before Paik Seung-ho’s penalty levelled the scores while Kasper Junker hit the post in the dying moments of regulation time. Han Kyo-won then thought he had won the tie for Jeonbuk before Junker’s last-gasp equaliser took the game to penalties.
Saitama: Fatigue especially, and jitters were the reasons Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors' AFC Champions League™ 2022 dream ended on Thursday.
Kim Sang-sik's side gave the semi-final tie against Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds their all but a third consecutive match that went to extra-time took its toll on the Korea Republic champions, with their head coach admitting that fatigue and nervousness led to them crashing out.
Urawa defeat Jeonbuk on penalties to book final berth
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds will play in the AFC Champions League™ 2022 final after goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa made a pair of penalty saves to ensure the J1 League side handed Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC a 3-1 shootout defeat at Saitama Stadium 2002 on Thursday following a 2-2 draw in 120 minutes.
Nishikawa’s heroics mean the J.League side will face the top club from West Asia in the continental showpiece over two legs on February 19 and 26.
Yusuke Matsuo had given Urawa an 11th minute lead before Paik Seung-ho struck from the penalty spot 10 minutes into the second half to take the game into extra-time, where late drama ensued before Urawa won the shoot-out. Han Kyo-won thought he had won the game for Jeonbuk with only four minutes remaining as he slid in to steer home Lee Seung-gi’s cross only for Kasper Junker to net the equaliser.
Nishikawa then denied Kim Bo-kyung and Lee Seung-gi in the first two rounds of spot-kicks and Ataru Esaka hit the winning penalty with one round remaining to take Urawa into the final for the fourth time in their history and the third time in six years.
Preview - SF (East): Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC (KOR) v Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds head coach Ricardo Rodriguez has called for another high-intensity display from his players when they take on Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC in the semi-final of the AFC Champions League™ 2022 (East) at Saitama Stadium 2002 on Thursday.
Rodriguez’s side go into the clash off the back of comprehensive wins over Johor Darul Ta’zim and BG Pathum United and the Spaniard is expecting more of the same against the K League 1 side, with a place in February’s final the prize for the victorious outfit.