Ulsan v Kawasaki headlines rivalry in Asian Champions League
SEOUL (AP) — Japan & South Korea might have struggled to qualify for the World Cup earlier in this month, but their clubs are dominating in Asian competition. The two countries are the 10 winners of the last 15 Asian Champions League titles. They also provide seven teams for the Round of 16 in the 2021 tournament.
Tuesday’s eastern zone begins the knockout stage with a match between the Japanese champion Kawasaki Frontale and Ulsan Horangi, the defending champion.
” “I came to Ulsan to win titles,” Valeri Qazaishvili, a midfielder for Ulsan, told the Asian Football Confederation’s site.
” I’ve heard a lot of Kawasaki, and I know that they play good football.” Qazaishvili stated. “It’s a huge advantage for us to have this match at home in Korea with our fans behind us; to play at home is always special.”
Both teams are top of their domestic leagues. Kawasaki was leading the J.league at the time of May’s Asian Champions League group stage. However, Kawasaki has lost one of its last five matches and is now out of the Levain Cup.
” We really wanted to win the cup game and advance to the next stage, so it was a terrible feeling,” Toru Oniki, coach, said. “We don’t have the time to think about it as we have to look ahead to a difficult game in Asia against champion Ulsan. That gives us a chance .”
to put the cup exit behind The other two meetings between clubs South Korea and Japan will see Nagoya Grampus host Daegu FC, and Pohang Steelers (three-time Asian champion) traveling to Cerezo Osaka. Korea’s Jeonbuk will play host to BG Pathum United from Thailand.
In the west zone, Tractor of Iran requested that the Asian Football Confederation postpone its game against Al-Nassr of Riyadh. Due to injuries and the outbreak of COVID -19., the team is having difficulty assembling the 18-man roster.
CEO Jamshid Nazmi stated that Tractor will participate in the Qatar game.
” I reviewed the issues and found solutions to allow the team to travel to Qatar,” Nazmi stated in a statement posted on the club’s website. “Tractor must replace the youth team members even if the AFC doesn’t agree with us. We will travel to Qatar under any circumstances to participate in the match,” Nazmi stated in a statement on the club’s homepage.
Sharjah hosts Al-Wahda, in an all-United Arab Emirates encounter. Istiklol, Tajikistan’s first representative, takes on the Iranian giant Persepolis.
Al Hilal was the first team to reach the last eight, beating Esteghlal 2-0 late Monday. Goals by Salem Al Dawsari and Bafetimbi Gomis were the highlights.
The quarterfinals will be played next month, while the final is set for November 23.
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