The four MEIJI YASUDA J.LEAGUE clubs to qualify for AFC Champions League 2022 learned their initial path in the competition after Monday’s draw.
Kawasaki Frontale were placed in Pot 1, making them the top seeded team in their group. They have been placed in Group I, where they will be joined by China’s Guangzhou FC and Malaysia’s Johor Sarul Ta’zim. The final team in Group I will be determined by a play-off between Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai and Thailand’s Port FC.
Urawa Reds were in Pot 2 and drawn into Group F. They will meet up with China’s Shandong Taishan FC and Singapore’s Lion City Sailors. The winner of a play-off between Korea Republic’s Daegu FC and Thailand’s Buriram United will also join Group F.
Yokohama F·Marinos were also in Pot 2 and they were placed into Group H. Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors is also in Group H, along with Vietnam’s Hoang Anh Gia Lai. The final spot in the group will go to whoever comes out of a series of play-offs.
The final Japanese club in the competition is Vissel Kobe. They are in the play-off round, where they will meet the winner of a tie between an Australian club still to be determined and Myanmar’s Shan United. If Vissel win that play-off, they will go into Group J with China’s Shanghai Port FC, Thailand’s Chiangrai United and Hong Kong’s Kitchee SC.
Vissel’s play-off is set for March 15, with the group stage to be played from April 15 through May 1. The knockout stages are set for August, with the final to be played in February 2023, after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.