The group stage for the AFC Champions League 2016 took place on Thursday at AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Japan will again be represented by four clubs in the tournament, with MEIJI YASUDA J.League Championship winners Sanfrecce Hiroshima, runners-up Gamba Osaka and J1 League third place side Urawa Reds all having qualified for the tournament.
The winner of the Emperor’s Cup will also qualify for the competition, with FC Tokyo to take the fourth and final slot if the Cup is won by Sanfrecce, Gamba or Reds.
AFC Champions League 2016 Group Stage Draw (East)
Jeonbuk Motors (South Korea), Jiangsu Sainty (China), Becamex Binh Duong (Vietnam), Playoff 2 Winner
Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan), FC Seoul (South Korea), Buriram United (Thailand), Playoff 3 Winner
Melbourne Victory (Australia), Emperor’s Cup Winner (*1), Suwon Bluewings (South Korea), Playoff 4 Winner
Guangzhou Evergrande (China), Sydney FC (Australia), Gamba Osaka (*2), Playoff 1 Winner
Playoff 1: Pohang Steelers (South Korea) v (Winner of Ha Noi T&T vs. Kitchee)
Playoff 2: Urawa Reds (*3) v (Winner of Thailand #3 vs. Yangon United)
Playoff 3: Adelaide United (Australia) v (Winner of Shandong Luneng vs. Winner of Preliminary Round 1)
Playoff 4: Shanghai SIPG v (Winner of Muangthong United vs. Johor Darul Ta’zim)
*1 = Gamba Osaka if Sanfrecce Hiroshima win Emperor’s Cup
*2 = Urawa Reds if Sanfrecce Hiroshima or Gamba Osaka win Emperor’s Cup
*3 = FC Tokyo if Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Gamba Osaka or Urawa Reds win Emperor’s Cup