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(LEAD) Qatar selected as centralized venue for S. Korean clubs at Asian football tournament

All News 20:48 October 09, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS lead; FIXES paras 2-3 with Qatar's selection for all group matches)
By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 9 (Yonhap) -- Qatar will host remaining group matches for four South Korean teams at Asia's top club football tournament next month.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced Friday that Doha will be the centralized venue for remaining contests for Groups E, F, G and H for the AFC Champions League, following its agreement with the Qatar Football Association.

Clubs in the East Zone -- South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan -- are in Groups E, F, G and H. Malaysia was announced earlier as the centralized venue for teams in Groups G and H, but Qatar will host all four groups instead.

In this file photo from Feb. 18, 2020, FC Seoul players celebrate a goal against Melbourne Victory during their Group E match in the Asian Football Confederation Champions League at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Four clubs from South Korea's K League 1 are competing in this year's AFC Champions League: FC Seoul in Group E, Ulsan Hyundai FC in Group F, Suwon Samsung Bluewings in Group G and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in Group H.

The group stage for the East Zone will resume on Nov. 18, after more than eight months of inaction caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament kicked off in February but was forced to press pause in early March because of the virus outbreak.

Some teams played two group matches, while a few others played just one. Three of the four teams from China haven't played any.

The first match back for the East Zone will be Nov. 18 between Perth Glory and Shanghai Shenhua FC in Group F.

FC Seoul will return to action against Beijing FC on Nov. 21 in Group E, followed by back-to-back matches against Chiangrai United on Nov. 24 and Nov. 27. Then it's against Beijing FC on Nov. 30 and Melbourne Victory on Dec. 3. FC Seoul beat Melbourne Victory 1-0 on Feb. 18 in their only group match so far.

In Group F, Ulsan's first match back is against Shanghai Shenhua FC on Nov. 21. Ulsan will then face Perth Glory on Nov. 24 and 27, followed by Tokyo FC on Nov. 30 and Shanghai Shenhua FC on Dec. 3.

In this file photo from Feb. 11, 2020, Lee Dong-geong of Ulsan Hyundai FC (R) takes a shot against FC Tokyo during their Group F match at the Asian Football Confederation Champions League at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan, 415 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

In Group G, Suwon will take on Guangzhou Evergrande FC on Nov. 22, Johor Darul Ta'zim on Nov. 25, Guangzhou again on Dec. 1 and Vissel Kobe on Dec. 4.

Jeonbuk will play their Group H match against Shanghai SIPG FC on Nov. 22, followed by Sydney FC on Nov. 25, Yokohama F. Marinos on Dec. 1 and Shanghai on Dec. 4.

Those in the West Zone, with clubs in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iraq, have already completed their group phase, and Persepolis FC of Iran have booked a spot in the final, scheduled for Dec. 19.

The top two clubs from each group will advance to the knockout stage. All knockout matches, including the championship final, will now be one-and-done affairs, instead of the usual home-and-away series where the aggregate score determines the winners.


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