2014 AFC Champions League group stage draw
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Guangzhou Evergrande will meet South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors for the third consecutive year in 2014 Asian Football Confederation (AFC)'s elite champions league group stage as the Chinese giant seeks to defend its Asian football club title.
The defending champion was drawn into Group G at the 2014 AFC Champions League (ACL) group stage draw made here on Tuesday. Neither Jeonbuk nor the other two teams in the group - a qualifier winner and the undecided Japanese knock-out cup champion is seems to post too much threats to the Chinese side.
Guangzhou stunned Asia in its ACL debut with an astonishing 5-1 away victory over Jeonbuk in 2012, and crowned the Asian champion in this year's ACL under World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi.
"There are no good draws or bad draws, whoever participates in the ACL is a strong team," said Guangzhou Evergrande Chairman Liu Yongzhuo.
Guangzhou is facing a daunting challenge to find a replacement for its Argentine playmaker Dario Conca, who will leave the team by the end of the season. Despite wide-spread rumours, Liu said the issued will be discussed by the club and Lippi only after the season is concluded.
Guangzhou is scheduled to meet Afican champion Al Ahly SC at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco later this week.
Following Guangzhou's success, the other Chinese teams that participate in the 2014 champions league - Guizhou Renhe, Shandong Luneng and Beijing Guoan, are all looking forward to breakthrough.
Yang Xiaoyan, a senior official at Guizhou, said the team will make the ACL a priority in the new season. Guizhou will meet Australia's Western Sydney Wanderers, J-League runner up and Ulsan Hyundai from South Korea in group stage.
AFC has brought more clubs and countries to ACL in the new season, and the clubs from East and West Asia will only meet at the two-leg final due to a stricter partition rule.