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Al-Nassr To Face Persepolis In Asian Champions League Opener

Al-Nassr To Face Persepolis In Asian Champions League Opener

Cristiano Ronaldo's Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr will kick off their Asian Champions League group stage challenge in Tehran against Iran's Persepolis next month while title holders Urawa Red Diamonds will take on Chinese champions Wuhan Three Towns.

Japan's Urawa, who had to defeat Hong Kong's Lee Man in a playoff to secure their place in Thursday's draw in Kuala Lumpur, will also face 2021 runners-up Pohang Steelers from South and Vietnam's Hanoi FC in Group J.

Al Nassr also had to qualify through the playoffs, after a late 4-2 win over Shabab Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates, the Luis Castro coach outfit will also play Qatar's Al-Duhail and FC Istiklol from Tajikistan in Group E.

Four-time winner Al-Hilal, who signed Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain last week, will start their challenge in Group D against Naybahor of Uzbekistan before taking on Iran's FC Nassaji Mazandaran and Mumbai City from India.

The group phase of the continental competition will kick on Sept.18 and sees clubs divided into five groups each in the western and eastern regions.

Winners of the 10 groups will advance to the knockout rounds alongside the three best runners-up in the western and eastern halves of the draw.

The knockout rounds will commence on Feb 12 with the final, played between the best clubs from their respective sides of the continent, to be held over two home-and-away legs on May 11 and 18.

Asian Champions League Group Stage Draw:

Group A: Pakhtakor (UZB), Al-Fayha (KSA), Ahal FC (TKM), Al-Ain (UAE)

Group B: Al-Sadd (QAT), FC Nasaf (UZB), Al-Faisaly (JOR), Sharjah FC (UAE)

Group C: Al-Ittihad (KSA), Sepahan (IRN), Air Force Club (IRQ), AGMK FC (UZB)

Group D: Al-Hilal (KSA), FC Nassaji Mazandaran (IRN), Mumbai City (IND), Navbahor (UZB)

Group E: Persepolis (IRN), Al-Duhail (QAT), FC Istiklol (TJK), Al-Nassr (KSA)

Group F: Jeonbuk Motors (KOR), Bangkok United (THA), Lion City Sailors (SIN), Kitchee (HKG)

Group G: Yokohama F Marinos (JPN), Shandong Taishan (CHN), Kaya FC-Iloilo (PHI), Incheon United (KOR)

Group H: Buriram United (THA), Ventforet Kofu (JPN), Melbourne City (AUS), Zhejiang FC (CHN)

Group I: Ulsan Hyundai (KOR), Kawasaki Frontale (JPN), Johor Darul Ta'zim (MAS), BG Pathum United (THA)

Group J: Wuhan Three Towns (CHN), Pohang Steelers (KOR), Hanoi FC (VIE), Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN)


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