Guangzhou to face Sydney in 2016 ACL group stage

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 11 (IANS) Defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande will take on Sydney Football Club in the group stage of the 2016 AFC Champions League.

The two teams were drawn into Group H at the drawing ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. They may be joined by Gamba Osaka, which was defeated by Guangzhou Evergrande at the semi-finals of the 2015 season, if the Japanese team failed to win the ongoing Emperor’s Cup, reports Xinhua.

The other team will come from the playoff stage, which likely to be Pohang Steelers from South Korea.

Brazilian star coach Luiz Felipe Scolari took over Guangzhou Evergrande at mid-season this year, leading the team to win the Chinese Super League title for the fifth consecutive year and later claim their second AFC Champions League title in three years.

Liu Yongzhuo, director of Guangzhou Evergrande Club, said Guangzhou Evergrande needs to do more and better prepared if it want to defend the champion.

Guangzhou Evergrande failed to defend their title in 2014, being eliminated in quarterfinals by Australia’s Western Sydney Wanderers.

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