Ronaldo-Neymar and more! ACL groupings confirmed… Jeonbuk-Bangkok, Ulsan-Johore, ‘first appearance’ Incheon meets Yokohama

The draw for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL), Asia’s premier club competition, has been finalized.

The AFC held the draw for the 2023-24 ACL group stage on Thursday (July 24) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 40-team field was finalized after the playoffs concluded on Feb. 22. Four teams from the K League will compete: Jeonbuk Hyundai, Ulsan Hyundai, Pohang Steelers, and Incheon United.

The competition is divided into two regions. The Western Zone is dominated by European stars. The Saudi Arabian league has seen a huge influx of big names in recent years. Starting with Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Aymeric Laporte (Al Nasr), Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante (Al Ittihad), Neymar, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Hubeng Nebes (Al Hilal), and many more will take to the ACL stage.

K League teams will compete for survival in the Eastern Zone. The East and West divisions will be split until the semifinals. If they advance to the finals, they will face a team from the West for the championship. Jeonbuk is in Group F, Incheon is in Group G, and Ulsan and Pohang are in Groups I and J respectively. The finals will be held next May.

As a result of the draw, Ulsan, who will enter the ACL as the 2022 K League 1 champions, was placed in Group I alongside Kawasaki Frontale (Japan), Johor Darul Taqzim (Malaysia), and BG Pathum United (Thailand). Jeonbuk, the 2022 FA Cup winners, will face Bangkok United (Thailand), Lion City (Singapore) and Kitchee (Hong Kong) in Group F.온라인바카

Pohang, the third-place finisher in the 2022 K League 1, will compete in Group J against Wuhan Sanjeon (China), Hanoi (Vietnam) and Urawa Reds (Japan) for a spot in the Round of 16.

Incheon, which finished fourth in the 2022 season and qualified for the inaugural ACL, won a 3-1 playoff victory over Hai Phong (Vietnam) on Nov. 22 to advance. Incheon will face Yokohama Marinos (Japan), Shandong Taishan (China), and Caya Iloilo (Philippines) in Group G.

The 2023-24 ACL East Asia Regional Group Stage will take place over the course of approximately three months, starting with the first leg on September 19 and ending with the sixth leg on December 13. At the end of the group stage, the first-place team from each group (five from East Asia and five from West Asia) will automatically qualify for the Round of 16, while the top three second-place teams from each group will punch their ticket to the Round of 16.

2023-2024 ACL Grouping Results


Group A

Pakhtakor (Uzbekistan)

Al Fayha (Saudi Arabia)

Ahal FC (Turkmenistan)

Al Ain (UAE)

Group B

Al Sadd (Qatar)

FC Nasaf (Uzbekistan)

Al Faisali (Jordan)

Sharjah FC (UAE)

Group C

Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia)

Sepahan (Iran)

Air Force Club (Iraq)

AGMK FC (Uzbekistan)

Group D

Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)

Nassaji Mazandaran (Iran)

Mumbai City (India)

Navbahor Namangan (Uzbekistan)

Group E

Persepolis (Iran)

Al Duhail (Qatar)

FC Istiklol (Turkmenistan)

Al Nasr (Saudi Arabia)

Eastern District

Group F

Jeonbuk Hyundai (South Korea)

Bangkok United (Thailand)

Lion City Sailors FC (Singapore)

Kitchee (Hong Kong)

Group G

Yokohama F.Marinos (Japan)

Shandong Taishan FC (China)

Kaya FC-Iloilo (Philippines)

Incheon United (South Korea)

Group H

Buriram United (Thailand)

Banpore Kofu (Japan)

Melbourne City FC (Australia)

Zhejiang FC (China)

Group I

Ulsan Hyundai (Korea)

Kawasaki Frontale (Japan)

Johor Darul Taqim (Malaysia)

BG Pathum United (Thailand)

Group J

Wuhan Shanzhen (China)

Pohang Steelers (South Korea)

Hanoi FC (Vietnam)

Urawa Reds Diamonds (Japan)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *