The race to the top of Asia begins.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) held the group stage draw for the 2023-24 AFC Champions League (ACL) at AFC House in Malaysia on Thursday (June 24).

Ulsan, the 2022 K League 1 champions, were drawn into Group I alongside Kawasaki Frontale (Japan), Johor Darul Taqzim (Malaysia) and BG Pathum United (Thailand). Jeonbuk, the defending FA Cup champions, will face Bangkok United (Thailand), Lion City (Singapore), and Kitchee (Hong Kong) in Group F.

Pohang, the third-place finisher in the 2022 K League 1, is in Group J and will face Wuhan Sanjeon (China), Hanoi (Vietnam), and Urawa Reds (Japan) for a ticket to the Round of 16. Incheon, who defeated Hai Phong (Vietnam) in the playoffs, will face Yokohama Marinos (Japan), Shandong Taishan (China), and Kaya Iloilo (Philippines) in Group G. This will be Incheon’s first appearance in the ACL after finishing fourth in the K League 1 last season.

The 2023-24 ACL East Asia Regional Group Stage will take place over the course of three months, starting with the first leg on September 19 and ending with the sixth leg on December 13. At the conclusion of the group stage, the top 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 teams from each group will earn a spot in the round of 16.

West Asia, which dominated the transfer market this summer and sparked the Saudi fever, also completed its group draw. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nasr, who have crossed the playoff threshold, have been drawn in Group E alongside Persepolis (Iran), Al Duhail (Qatar) and Istiklol (Tajikistan). Neymar’s Al Hilal will compete in Group D with Nassaji Mazandaran (Iran), Mumbai City (India) and Nabahor (Uzbekistan).

< 2023-24 AFC Champions League group draw results

East Asia

Group F – Jeonbuk Hyundai (South Korea), Bangkok United (Thailand), Lion City (Singapore), Kitchee (Hong Kong)

Group G – Yokohama Marinos (Japan), Shandong Taishan (China), Kaya Iloilo (Philippines), Incheon United (South Korea)

Group H – Buriram United (Thailand), Banpore Kofu (Japan), Melbourne City (Australia), Zhejiang (China)

Group I – Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea), Kawasaki Frontale (Japan), Johor Darul Taqim (Malaysia), BG Pathum United (Thailand)

Group J – Wuhan Shanzhen (China), Pohang Steelers (South Korea), Hanoi (Vietnam), Urawa Reds (Japan)

West Asia 바카라

Group A – Pakhtakor (Uzbekistan), Al Fayha (Saudi Arabia), Ahal (Turkmenistan), Al Ain (UAE)

Group B – Al Sadd (Qatar), Nasaf (Uzbekistan), Al Faisalih (Jordan), Sharjah (UAE)

Group C – Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia), Sepahan (Iran), Air Force Club (Iraq), AGMK (Uzbekistan)

Group D – Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia), Nassaji Mazandaran (Iran), Mumbai City (India), Nabahor (Uzbekistan)

Group E – Persepolis (Iran), Al Duhail (Qatar), Istiklol (Tajikistan), Al Nasr (Saudi Arabia)

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