There will be no rest for the weary in Asian football this week, as four clubs from South Korea’s K-League will be back in action in the ongoing Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, just days after their regular-season games.
The third group matches for the K-League clubs will have a decidedly Japanese flavor. On Tuesday, Jeju United of Group E will host Gamba Osaka of Japan’s J-League at 7:30 p.m. Also Tuesday, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in Group G will travel to Japan to take on Cerezo Osaka at 7 p.m.
Then on Wednesday, FC Seoul in Group F will be up against Nagoya Grampus of Japan on the road at 7 p.m. Finally, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Suwon Samsung Bluewings will host Kashima Antlers of the J-League at 7:30 p.m.
In mid-March, all four K-League teams were victorious in their second games. That placed three of them ― FC Seoul, Jeonbuk and Suwon ― atop their groups. Jeju, with a win and a loss, is in third behind Tianjin Teda of China and Gamba Osaka.
The four South Korean teams played regular-season matches on Saturday. But Park Kyung-hoon, Jeju’s head coach, said there’s no time to slow down ahead of the important match against Gamba.
“Both of our teams have one win and one loss apiece, and a loss here will make it tough to reach the round of 16,” said Park, whose team trails Gamba in the standings because of a difference in points.
Only the top two teams from eight groups will advance to the next stage.