Victory, Sky Blues draw tough ACL opponents

Melbourne Victory will face Emperor's Cup champions Gamba Osaka in the 2016 AFC Champions League (ACL), while Sydney FC line up against Urawa Red Diamonds.

The two Hyundai A-League clubs' ACL challenge became somewhat clearer on New Year's Day after Gamba defeated Urawa 2-1 in the Emperor's Cup final at Ajinomoto Stadium.

Brazilian striker Patric was the match-winner for Gamba, scoring twice as the 2008 ACL champions defended their cup title.

Sydney FC to face reigning Champions in ACL

Patric opened the scoring on the break in the 32nd minute but Urawa struck back four minutes later through Shinzo Koroki.

But seven minutes into the second half, Patric's volley from a corner gave Gamba a lead they would never relinquish.

Gamba have joined Victory and Suwon Bluewings in Group G of this year's ACL and will play the A-League champions in Osaka on March 2 and Melbourne on May 3.

Melbourne Victory will look to transfer their Hyundai A-League dominance to the ACL in 2015.

Victory have played Gamba on four previous occasions and have never beaten the J.League club, losing three times.

Victory's ACL draw revealed

Urawa - who won the ACL the year before Gamba - slot into Group H with Sydney and title-holders Guangzhou Evergrande as Japan's third representative.

Sydney were grouped with Urawa when they won in 2007, drawing both matches.

The Sky Blues will begin their 2016 campaign with a trip to Saitama Stadium on February 24, while Urawa will visit Sydney on April 19.

Sydney FC have been drawn against reigning Champions Guangzhou Evergrande in the 2016 ACL.

The fourth team in each of Victory and Sydney's groups will be decided after the play-offs on February 9.