Hong Kong: The-AFC.com continues its series looking at Asia's most popular football clubs as we turn our attention to one of the Continent's most historic Member Associations: Hong Kong.
Despite its small size, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong features heavily in the Asian football records books. As well as hosting the inaugural AFC Asian Cup in 1956, it boasts one of the Continent's oldest football associations, one of the oldest professional leagues and one of the oldest existing football clubs.
Reflecting and reviewing its rich history, the-AFC.com has selected five teams as Hong Kong's most popular clubs and asks you, the fans, to vote for your favourite.
Ulsan Hyundai’s Kim hungry for more after reaching AFC Champions League quarter-finals
Doha: Ulsan Hyundai boss Kim Do-hoon heaped praise on his players but urged them to keep pushing for more after they moved into the 2020 AFC Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory on Sunday.
Three goals from substitutes – two from Bjørn Johnson and another from Won Du-jae – proved decisive for the Korean club, who toiled for an hour against the gallant Australian side before running away with the contest in the closing stages.
It was Ulsan’s sixth successive win since arriving in Qatar last month, and it put an end to a run of defeats in the AFC Champions League Round of 16; the stage in which their Asian journey had ended in the past two seasons.
Club history made, Génésio calls for more from Beijing FC in AFC Champions League
Doha: Bruno Génésio applauded his Beijing FC players for taking the club to the AFC Champions League knockout stage for the first time, only to remind them that the real prize remains up for grabs.
The Chinese outfit defeated FC Tokyo 1-0 on Sunday to stretch their unbeaten run in the competition to seven – itself a club record – and ending a run of Round of 16 defeats in 2010, 2013, and 2015.
Inspired by a virtuoso display by Player of the Match Renato Augusto, Beijing found the decisive goal in the 59th-minute through A Lan, formerly known as Alan Carvalho, who netted his fourth goal of the tournament to put Beijing to within three wins of a maiden Asian title.
AFC Champions League (EAST) Toyota Player of the Week: Daiki Niwa
Doha: FC Tokyo's Daiki Niwa has been voted by the fans as the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) Toyota Player of the Week after an impressive performance in his side's 1-0 win over Perth Glory on Matchday Six as they advanced to the knockout rounds.
The veteran defender had an 83 percent duel success rate, made three interceptions and completed 62 passes at an 87 percent accuracy that saw him ranked fifth in Stats Perform's – the Asian Football Confederation's official data provider – list of nominees for the accolade with a 7.6 rating.
Yokohama F. Marinos looking to make AFC Champions League history against Suwon Samsung Bluewings
Doha: Yokohama F. Marinos hope to reach the AFC Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history when they face two-time semi-finalists Suwon Samsung Bluewings at Khalifa International Stadium on Monday.
In their fourth appearance in the competition, and the first since 2014, Yokohama F. Marinos have reached the knockout stage for the first time in their history under the guidance of Australian head coach Ange Postecoglou who hopes to become the first manager to be crowned Asian champion at national and club levels, having led the Socceroos to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup title at home.
Vissel Kobe face tricky Shanghai SIPG test in first-ever AFC Champions League Round of 16 appearance
Doha: In their maiden continental campaign, Vissel Kobe were able to reach the Round of 16 in the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) but they now face the challenge of a far more experienced Shanghai SIPG at Khalifa International Stadium on Monday.
Topping Group G, the Kobe-based side had a rather less intense schedule having only played three games since the restart following Johor Darul Ta’zim’s withdrawal from the tournament leaving just three teams battling for the group’s two qualifying spots.
Qualification was achieved with two games to spare, leaving coach Atsuhiro Miura with the luxury of rotating his players and experimenting as back-to-back 2-0 defeats did little to change their status as group winners.
AFC Champions League (East) - Round of 16: Players to Watch
Doha: No sooner has the group stage of the 2020 AFC Champions League (East) come to a close that the Round of 16 is upon us with four enticing fixtures to take place across Sunday and Monday.
Some of the Continent's finest players have been on show in Qatar with established names and emerging talents displaying their ability in Asia's most prestigious club competition.
With the knockout rounds now leaving no margin for error, the-AFC.com profiles eight stars who have shone in the group stage and will be crucial to their sides' chances of going deeper into the tournament.