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V. League club in difficult AFC Champions League group

By Hoang Nguyen   January 17, 2022 | 06:15 pm PT
V. League club in difficult AFC Champions League group
Hoang Anh Gia Lai celebrate the Hoang De Quang Trung exhibition cup on January 9, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) will be in group H of AFC Champions League (ACL) with Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos, South Korea’s Jeonbuk Huyndai and a play-off winner.

Yokohama is the runner-up of J1 League last year while Jeonbuk is the current champions of K-League. The other team will be decided after the play-offs between clubs from Australia, China and the Philippines.

The group stage of ACL 2022 will take place from April 15 to 31. There has never been a Vietnamese club to pass the ACL group stage.

ACL this year will have the participation of 40 clubs. Due to Covid-19, the tournament will take place at centralized venues instead of imposing the home and away format.

This is HAGL's return to the ACL after 17 years. To prepare for the new season, HAGL have recruited Brazillian players Mauricio Teixeira and Jefferson Baiano. Head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang also plans to field many young players from the club’s youth academy.

"We will try to get past the group stage and even make it to the quarterfinals or semifinals," Kiatisuk said.

In V. League last season, HAGL led the table after 12 rounds. However, the league was canceled later due to Covid-19. Fortunately, HAGL’s position was enough for them to get a spot in the ACL group stage this year.

 
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