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Cerezo Osaka qualifies for group stage and Kashiwa Reysol qualifies for play-off of AFC Champions League 2018

01 January 2018

Cerezo Osaka qualifies for group stage and Kashiwa Reysol qualifies for play-off of AFC Champions League 2018

On New Year’s Day, the final of The 97th Emperor's Cup All Japan Football Championship was held and Cerezo Osaka won the title, beating Yokohama F・Marinos.

Following this result, Cerezo Osaka qualified for the group stage of the AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE2018. The team was supposed to compete from the play-off round of the competition. As a result, Kashiwa Reysol, who finished in fourth place of J1 in 2017, is now qualified for the play-off of the competition.

Requirements for the AFC Champions League 2018

To play from the group stage
1. Winning the title of the national league (Title of the 2017 J1 League)
2. Winning the title of the national cup competition (Title of the 97th Emperor's Cup All Japan Football Championship)
3. Finishing in second place of the national league (Second place of the 2017 J1 League)
To play from play-off
4. Finishing in third place of the national league (Third place of the 2017 J1 League)

Teams play in the AFC Champions League 2018 (Japan)

Teams play in the group stage

Kawasaki Frontale (First team)
Sixth appearance and for the second year in-a-row
Past ACL result
Top 8 (in 2007, 2009, 2017), Top 16 (2014), Group stage (2010)

Cerezo Osaka (Second team)
Third appearance after four years
Past ACL result
Top 8 (2011), Top 16 (2014)

Kashima Antlers (Third team)
Eighth appearance and for the second year in-a-row
Past ACL result
Top 8 (2008), Top 16 (in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2017), Group stage (2002/03, 2015)

Team plays from play-off

Kashiwa Reysol (Fourth team)
Fourth appearance after three years (Supposing the team win the play-off)
Past ACL result
Top 4 (2013), Top 8 (2015), Top 16 (2012)

Teams of the group stage of the AFC Champions League 2018

East Region

Group E ①Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (Korea Rep.), ②Kitchee (Hong Kong)
③East Region play-off winner 4*, ④East Region play-off winner 2*
Group F ①Kawasaki Frontale (Japan), ②Ulsan Hyundai FC (Korea Rep.)
③Melbourne Victory (Australia), ④East Region play-off winner 3*
Group G ①Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao (China PR), ②Cerezo Osaka (Japan)
③Jeju United (Korea Rep.), ④Buriram United (Thailand)
Group H ①Sydney Football Club (Australia), ②Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (China PR)
③Kashima Antlers (Japan), ④East Region play-off winner 1*

*Teams entering in the East Region play-off round
1:Suwon Samsung Bluewings (Korea Rep.), Eastern SC (Hong Kong), FLC Thanh Hoa (Vietnam)
2:Kashiwa Reysol (Japan), Muangthong United (Thailand), Johor Darul Ta'zim (Malaysia)
3:Shanghai SIPG (China PR), Chiangrai United (Thailand), Bali United (Indonesia), Tampines Rovers (Singapore)
4:Tianjin Quanjian (China PR), Brisbane Roar (Australia), Kanbawza United (Myanmar), Ceres Negros FC (Philippines)

AFC Champions League 2018
Schedule of play-off and group stage matches (Japanese teams)

*Kick-off time and match venues are not yet announced

Play-off

Tue. 30 January
Kashiwa Reysol vs Muangthong United (Thailand) or Johor Darul Ta'zim (Malaysia)

Group E

MDMatch dayHomeAway
MD1 Tue. 13 February Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
(Korea Rep.)
East Region play-off winner 2
MD2 Tue. 20 February East Region play-off winner 2 East Region play-off winner 4
MD3 Tue. 6 March East Region play-off winner 2 Kitchee (Hong Kong)
MD4 Wed. 14 March Kitchee (Hong Kong) East Region play-off winner 2
MD5 Wed. 4 April East Region play-off winner 2 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
(Korea Rep.)
MD6 Wed. 18 April East Region play-off winner 4 East Region play-off winner 2

Group F

MDMatch dayHomeAway
MD1 Tue. 13 February Kawasaki Frontale (Japan) East Region play-off winner 3
MD2 Tue. 20 February Ulsan Hyundai FC (Korea Rep.) Kawasaki Frontale (Japan)
MD3 Wed. 7 March Kawasaki Frontale (Japan) Melbourne Victory (Australia)
MD4 Tue. 13 March Melbourne Victory (Australia) Kawasaki Frontale (Japan)
MD5 Wed. 4 April East Region play-off winner 3 Kawasaki Frontale (Japan)
MD6 Wed. 18 April Kawasaki Frontale (Japan) Ulsan Hyundai FC (Korea Rep.)

Group G

MDMatch dayHomeAway
MD1 Wed. 14 February Jeju United (Korea Rep.) Cerezo Osaka (Japan)
MD2 Wed. 21 February Cerezo Osaka (Japan) Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
(China PR)
MD3 Tue. 6 March Buriram United (Thailand) Cerezo Osaka (Japan)
MD4 Wed. 14 March Cerezo Osaka (Japan) Buriram United (Thailand)
MD5 Tue. 3 April Cerezo Osaka (Japan) Jeju United (Korea Rep.)
MD6 Tue. 17 April Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao (China PR) Cerezo Osaka (Japan)

Group H

MDMatch dayHomeAway
MD1 Wed. 14 February Kashima Antlers (Japan) Shanghai Greenland Shenhua
(China PR)
MD2 Wed. 21 February East Region play-off winner 1 Kashima Antlers (Japan)
MD3 Wed. 7 March Sydney Football Club (Australia) Kashima Antlers (Japan)
MD4 Tue. 13 March Kashima Antlers (Japan) Sydney Football Club (Australia)
MD5 Tue. 3 April Shanghai Greenland Shenhua (China PR) Kashima Antlers (Japan)
MD6 Tue. 17 April Kashima Antlers (Japan) East Region play-off winner 1
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