Sport Asia
Don't Miss

Football: Korea’s Jeonbuk, Pohang clash in ACL Round of 16

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will entertain fellow K-League Classic side Pohang Steelers in the first leg of their AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will entertain fellow K-League Classic side Pohang Steelers in the first leg of their AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

May 4, 2014: Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Pohang Steelers, both former winners, face off in the first leg of their AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday, ensuring Korea Republic are guaranteed a team in the quarter-finals for a sixth consecutive season.

 

Jeonbuk, who won the title in 2006, will entertain K-League Classic champions Pohang at Jeonju World Cup Stadium after finishing second in Group G behind defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande. Jeonbuk are appearing in the knockout stage for a seventh time, having lost to Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol in the Round of 16 last year following their sole group-stage exit a year earlier.

 

“I think joining the last 16 has never been this difficult before,” said coach Choi Kang-hee, who guided Jeonbuk to the final in 2011. “We will now do our best to be well prepared for the tournament. The preparations for the knockout stage should be different and I expect the tournament to be tougher as it progresses.”

 

Pohang, the three-time Asian champions, comfortably won Group E with an unbeaten record ahead of Japan’s Cerezo Osaka to return to the knockout stage for the first time since 2010. The Steelers won the Asian Club Championship in 1997 and 1998 and AFC Champions League in 2009, so Hwang Sun-hong’s side are hoping to add a fourth continental title.

 

“Facing Jeonbuk in the next stage is not that desirable, but we are confident we can win this game if we are well prepared,” Hwang said.

 

China’s hopes again rest with defending champions Guangzhou, with Marcello Lippi’s side travelling to Japan to face Cerezo in their first leg on Tuesday. Guangzhou, who beat FC Seoul in last year’s final, lost twice during the group stage, but qualified as Group G winners after Brazilian striker Elkeson scored twice to secure a 2-1 win over Yokohama F. Marinos at home.

 

Also on Tuesday, with the new tournament format guaranteeing a finalist from the West, two-time AFC Champions League winners Al Ittihad entertain fellow Saudi side Al Shabab, while inaugural winners Al Ain from the UAE face compatriots Al Jazira.

 

Al Ittihad, who won back-to-back AFC Champions League titles in 2004 and 2005, finished second behind Al Ain in Group C to secure a return to the last 16 for the first time since their 2013 semi-final appearance.

Al Shabab topped Group A ahead of Al Jazira after posting five wins, which included a 2-1 victory over the Emirati side on the final Matchday at the end of April.

 

Source: WSG

You must be logged in to post a comment Login