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United City FC Grouped With China, Japanese Clubs in AFC Champions League


United City Football Club has been grouped with Chinese and Japanese football club in the group stage of the 2021 AFC Champions League slated from June 22 to 28 at a still unidentified venue.

The four-time defending Philippines Football League (PFL) champions United City FC is automatically playing in for ruling the 2020 edition of PFL held last November in Carmona, Cavite.

United City FC were placed in Group I against China’s Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, current three-time Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale, and either South Korea’s Daegu FC or Thailand’s Chiangrai United.

Guangzhou Evergrande are eight-time champions of the Chinese Super League and two-time winners of the AFC Champions League. Kawasaki Frontale are also heavyweights as they’re the current holders of Japan’s J1 League and Emperor’s Cup.

“It was an amazing draw,” United City FC CEO Eric Gottschalk said following the draw last Wednesday. “This is the best exposure for the Club and Philippine football we could have asked for.”

The 2021 AFC Champions League group stage shall follow a double-round robin format at a centralized venue.