Wednesday, February 10, 2016


ASEAN Clubs Lose Out In ACL Qualifiers

Tonight has not been the best night for ASEAN clubs in the AFC Champions League. The three representatives all went out conceding 15 goals without causing the opponent keeper to pick the ball out of his own net.

Pohang Steelers v Ha Noi T&T 3-0
Tokyo FC v Chonburi 9-0
Shanghai SIPG v Muang Thong United 3-0

Tampines Rovers, Yangon United, Johor Darul Tazim never got this far!

It's not fair really, is it? I mean poor Ha Noi, Chonburi and Muang Thong were forced to play away from home and so had to face long travel times, dodgy food and people speaking funny languages. When they played at home, as they did in the previous qualifying round, they won. Go away and they lose. It's simple the interests of fairness ASEAN teams must not play games away from home.

Buriram United and Binh Duong of course do remain in the ACL without having to go through the rigmorale of a lengthy qualifying process and the Thais at least will be hoping they can take their fine form on the road when they travel to Sanfreece Hiroshima, FC Seoul and Shandong Luneng. At least they are developing some kind of ACL pedigree...last season they more than held their own, finishing level on points with Gamba Osaka and Seongnam before going out because of one of them new rules that weren't invented when I used to buy football annuals.

Binh Duong struggled last year, their second season in t he ACL, finishing bottom but picking up a credible win over Kashiwa Reysol, and drawing with Jeonbuk Hyundai. However this time around they have been drawn alongside perhaps the best known Chinese club in the world, Jiangsu Suning. Coached by Dan Petrescu, formerly of Sheffield Wednesday and some south west London side that play in blue, the club from Nianjing made headlines when they signed Brazilians Ramires, Jo and Alex Teixiera for large sums. They probably have a few well known local players in their ranks but they won't attract hits so you won't be hearing much about them.

Jeonbuk Hyundai and FC Tokyo complete Binh Duong's group.

What's that you say? Indonesia? Very funny...

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