Viettel FC and Sai Gon FC square off in the 2020 V.League 1 season. Both sides will represent Viet Nam in continental competition this year. Photo danviet.vn
HÀ NỘI – Viettel FC face tough sledding in their 2021 AFC Champions League campaign.
The 2020 V.League 1 champions were drawn in Group F of the East Asia zone and will face the holders of Asia’s top club competition, Ulsan Hyundai.
The South Korean side won the 2020 edition of the AFC Champions League against Persepolis of Iran just last month after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the competition.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) held the draw for both the premier AFC Champions League and secondary AFC Cup competition yesterday.
Viettel will also square off against BG Pathun United of Thailand and the winner of a playoff between Brisbane Roar FC of Australia and the winner of the preliminary playoff between Kaya FC–Iloilo of the Philippines and Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC of China.
The group stage matches are scheduled to be played from April 21 to May 7, with a centralised venue that has yet to be announced.
AFC Cup draw
Meanwhile, the draw for the AFC Cup saw Ha Noi FC receive a relatively straightforward match-up.
In Group G of the ASEAN zone, V.League 1 2020 runners up and National Cup champions Ha Noi FC were drawn against Bali United of Indonesia, Boeung Ket FC of Cambodia, and the winner of the playoff between Hanthawady Utd of Myanmar and the winner of the preliminary playoff between Lao Toyota and Kasuka of Brunei.
With the exception of Bali United, Hà Nội should be heavy favourites against every other team they’ll face, despite their poor domestic form.
Hà Nội reached the inter-zone final of the competition in 2019, the furthest a Vietnamese team has ever gone in the competition, before being knocked out by April 25 SC of North Korea.
Sai Gon FC, meanwhile, were drawn in Group H of the ASEAN zone and will face Kedah Darul Aman FC of Malaysia, Lion City Sailors FC from Singapore and the winner of the playoff between Persipura Jayapura of Indonesia and the winner of the preliminary playoff between Visakha FC of Cambodia and Lalenok United FC of Timor Leste.
The campaign will see Sai Gon FC make their debut in continental competition.
The AFC Cup group stage matches are scheduled to be held from June 22-28 also at centralised locations which have yet to be announced.
The 2020 edition of the AFC Cup was postponed and eventually cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNS