J.League clubs learn next step on path to AFC Champions League glory

J.League clubs learn next step on path to AFC Champions League glory

The draw for the AFC Champions League knockout stages is complete and the J.League’s three remaining teams now know their potential paths to the final of the continental championship.

Yokohama F·Marinos, who qualified for the knockout stages as the winner of Group G, will take on Bangkok United in the Round of 16. The Thai side topped a competitive Group F to advance to the knockout stages for the first time in club history.

Kawasaki Frontale, the dominant team in the East Region group stage with 16 points and a +11 goal difference, will play Shandong Taishan in the last 16 after the Chinese club finished second to Marinos in Group G action.

The winners of those two round of 16 ties will meet in the quarter-finals, opening up the chance for Marinos and Frontale to clash for a place in the semis.

Ventforet Kofu ended up on the opposite end of the East Region bracket with three South Korean clubs.

First, they will play Ulsan Hyundai FC, who finished second to Frontale in Group I. Then, if they beat Ulsan, either Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors or Pohang Steelers will await them in the quarter-finals.

The AFC Champions League returns to action in February, with the Round of 16. The quarter-finals will be played in March with the semi-finals in April, before concluding with the final on May 11 and 18. Each round will be a two-legged home and away tie.