Former champions to face off in AFC Champions League quarter-finals

SAFAWI RASID highlights vs Gyeongnam FC

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Wednesday’s draw for the AFC Champions League quarter-finals has thrown up a couple of enticing ties between four former winners of the tournament.

In an all-Korea Republic encounter, 2016 champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will meet compatriots Suwon Samsung Bluewings, who are looking for their first taste of continental glory since their back-to-back triumphs of 2001 and 2002.

The other East Zone quarter-final sees Japanese surprise package Kashima Antlers take on China’s sole remaining representatives Tianjin Quanjian, who can boast the likes of Alexandre Pato and Axel Witsel in their squad.

Meanwhile, the West Zone will also a battle of the two-time champions with Iranian giants Esteghlal set to face off against Qatar’s Al Sadd.

Finally, tournament favourites Al Duhail – who have won all eight of their matches in the ACL this year – will also partake in a Qatar-Iran clash as they meet 2017 semi-finalists Persepolis.

AFC Champions League Quarter-finals

Esteghlal (IRN) v Al Sadd (QAT)

Al Duhail (QAT) v Persepolis (IRN)

Kashima Antlers (JPN) v Tianjin Quanjian (CHN)

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR) v Suwon Samsung Bluewings (KOR)