Sydney FC will take on Ange Postecoglou’s Yokohama F. Marinos in the AFC Champions League after the Group Stage draw was made on Tuesday night (AEDT).
Both the Sky Blues and Perth Glory were pitted against some of the big guns in Asia after the draw, which was held at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur.
And it’s a mouth-watering group for Sydney FC, with the clash against J-League champions and Postecoglou’s Yokohama the pick of the games.
Steve Corica’s side has also been drawn against K-League champions Jeonbuk Motors – winners of the ACL in 2006 and 2016 – which is the club of former Sky Blues star Bernie Ibini.
Sydney FC’s final opponent will come from a currently unknown playoff winner to complete Group H.
“The aim for us is to win all of our home games, and if we win them we have a very good chance of going through to the next round,” Corica told Sydney FC’s official website.
“Last year we played some very good football in the group stage without getting benefits out of it.
“We are very pleased with the boys we’ve picked up this year too and they’re understanding our structure on the pitch and our culture off it.
“It’ll be a good challenge for some of the new boys who haven’t played in it.”
Glory will compete in the ACL for the first time and have been drawn in Group F.
Tony Popovic’s side are up against Korean club Ulsan Hyundai (ACL winners in 2012), Shanghai Shenhua from China and a playoff winner from one of Japan, Thailand, Philippines or Myanmar.
The match-up with Ulsan will see Glory potentially come up against former wing-back Jason Davidson, who moved to the K-League runners up after the premiership success in 2018/19.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Victory have been allocated a spot in Group E should they win their two play-off matches early in the New Year.
Marco Kurz’s side will take on the winner of Tampines Rovers and Bali United in their first play-off match, before an away game in Japan against the winner of their Emperor’s Cup Final.
The four teams still in the running to be Japan’s Cup representative are Vissel Kobe, Shimizu S-Pulse, Kashima Antlers and V-Varen Nagasaki.