Sydney FC to face reigning Champions in ACL

The 2016 Asian Champions League draw took place in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday evening with last season’s Hyundai A-League Grand Finalists Sydney FC drawn in Group H.

The Sky Blues face an uphill battle after being pitted against Chinese Champions and reigning ACL winner Guangzhou Evergrande.

Graham Arnold’s side also drew Japan’s third ranked side (to be determined in January 2016) and will face a side from either Korea, Vietnam or Hong Kong following a playoff. 

Hyundai A-League Champions Melbourne Victory were drawn in Group G with Korean powerhouse Suwon Samsung, along with Japan's second ranked side (to be determined) and the winner of playoff 4 (China, Thailand, Malaysia). 

Adelaide United will have to play-off against either Shandong Luneng FC (CHN), Mohun Bagan AC (IND) or Tampines Rovers (SIN) to enable them to join Group F of the AFC Champions League with Sanfrecce Hiroshima (JPN), FC Seoul (KOR), Buriram United (THA).

AFC Champions League 2016 Groups

Group A: FOOLAD MOBARAKEH SEPAHAN (IRN), AL NASR (UAE), LOKOMOTIV (UZB), Winner of Playoff 1 (West)

Group B: AL NASSR (KSA)ZOBAHAN (IRN), LEKHWIYA (QAT), Winner of Playoff 3 (West)

Group C: PAKHTAKOR (UZB), AL HILAL (KSA), TRACTORSAZI TABRIZ (IRN), Winner of Playoff 4 (West)

Group D: AL AIN (UAE), NASAF (UZB), AL AHLI (KSA), Winner of Playoff 2 (West)

Group E: JEONBUK HYUNDAI MOTORS (KOR), JIANGSU SAINTY (CHN), BECAMEX BINH DUONG (VIE), Winner of Playoff 2 (East)

Group F: SANFRECCE HIROSHIMA (JPN), FC SEOUL (KOR), BURIRAM UNITED (THA), Winner of Playoff 3 (East)

Group G: MELBOURNE VICTORY (AUS), JAPAN 2ND CLUB (JPN), SUWON SAMSUNG BLUEWINGS FC (KOR), Winner of Playoff 4 (East)

Group H: GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE (CHN), SYDNEY FC (AUS), JAPAN 3RD CLUB (JPN), Winner of Playoff 1 (East)

Group Stage Schedule

Matchday 1

23-24 February 2016 (Tuesday-Wednesday)

Matchday 2

1-2 March 2016 (Tuesday-Wednesday)

Matchday 3

15-16 March 2016 (Tuesday-Wednesday)

Matchday 4

5-6 April 2016 (Tuesday-Wednesday)

Matchday 5

19-20 April 2016 (Tuesday-Wednesday)

Matchday 6

3-4 May 2016 (Tuesday-Wednesday)