Kuala Lumpur: Matchday Five of the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 did not disappoint with plenty of late drama among the highlights of another exciting few days on the continent in Asia’s premier club competition.
Defending champions Urawa Red Diamonds threw themselves a lifeline while former winners Al Hilal and Al Ittihad were among those to progress to the Round of 16.
After an action-packed round of fixtures, the-AFC.com highlights the stats and facts that caught the eye.
Kuala Lumpur: The penultimate round of group stage matches in the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 concluded this week and with it came plenty of exciting action across the breadth of Asia.
History made, penalties missed, challenges overcome, and young players stepping up to the plate all feature as the-AFC.com talks to those involved in the latest edition of the continent's most prestigious club competition.
Kuala Lumpur: Matchday Five of the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 concluded with another five teams booking their Round of 16 spots.
The trio of Saudi Arabia clubs Al Hilal SFC, Al Nassr and Al Ittihad, Thailand's Bangkok United FC and Kawasaki Frontale of Japan joined UAE's Al Ain FC and Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic - who had confirmed their tickets with two matches to spare - in the knockout stage.
There is, however, a lot more to unfold over the next two weeks so join the-AFC.com in our review of Matchday Five.
Saudi Arabia to host AFC Champions League Elite – Final Stage
Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today confirmed the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) as the Host Association for the AFC Champions League Elite – Final Stage for the 2024/25 and 2025/26 seasons.
The Continent’s top 24 clubs will be divided into two leagues of 12 teams across the West and East regions, who will compete in a home and away league format for a place in the Round of 16, where the eight winners will advance to the Final Stage.
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds assistant head coach Rafal Janas praised his players’ determination after sealing a 2-1 win over China PR’s Wuhan Three Towns in Group J of the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 on Wednesday.
With the score tied at 1-1, Urawa were heading for a group stage exit until Jose Kante struck from the edge of the box in the 90th minute to keep the defending champions in the tournament.
Pathum Thani: History was made at the Thammasat Stadium on Wednesday after Bangkok United beat Lion City Sailors FC 1-0 in Group F of the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24, the win confirming the Thai side's knockout stage spot.
Bangkok United’s only other participation in the AFC Champions League proper ended in the group stage in 2007 and the significance of Wednesday’s victory was not lost on head coach Totchtawan Sripan.
Group F: Bangkok United (THA) 1-0 Lion City Sailors (SGP)
Pathum Thani: Bangkok United clinched a spot in the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League™ 2023/24 following a late 1-0 victory against Lion City Sailors FC at the Thammasat Stadium on Wednesday.
The win confirmed the Thai side as the group winners, taking them to an unassailable 13 points with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea Republic four adrift. Singapore's Lion City Sailors are on six points with just one match remaining.