Suwon, Seongnam host Beijing, Gamba for AFC Champions League last eight

16:49, May 10, 2010      

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K-League clubs Suwon Bluewings and Seongnam Ilhwa both have home advantage on Tuesday night when they host Chinese champions Beijing Guoan and Japan's Gamba Osaka respectively in the AFC Champions League's one-leg round of 16.

In the west, Saudi club Al Shabab welcome Iranian giants Esteghlal to the 63,000-capacity King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Tuesday, while Qatari champions Al Gharafa host Uzbekistan Cup winners Pakhtakor in Doha for a place in September's quarterfinals.

Both situated in cities on the outskirts of Seoul, Suwon and Seongnam are both former winners of the old Asian Club Championship.

Suwon, who won the 2001 and 2002 Asian Club Championship, boast one of the competition's in-form players in Brazilian striker Jose Mota, who topped the scoring list in the group stage with seven goals.

However, the Bluewings currently prop up the K-League table after a 2-0 home loss to Ulsan Horangi on Saturday as they prepare to host a fired-up Beijing side at the 43,000-capacity Suwon World Cup Stadium.

Coach Cha Bum-kun, who led the Bluewings to the most recent of their four K-League titles in 2008, will be under immense pressure to avoid a round-of-16 loss for the second straight year.

In contrast, Beijing are in confident mood after beating Japan's Kawasaki Frontale 2-0 at home to become the first Chinese club in the knockout stage since 2006. It was third time lucky for Guoan, who have exited at the group stage for the past two years. ' The club have also benefited from a weekend off after their scheduled Chinese Super League fixture against Shandong Luneng was postponed to allow Beijing more time to prepare for the clash against Suwon.

In nearby Seongnam, Ilhwa will host a mouth-watering tie against Gamba at Tancheon Sports Complex.

Seongnam, South Korea's most successful club with seven K-League titles, are one of Asia's in-form teams after winning five of their six group games. Shin Tae-yong's men currently lie third in the K-League after Saturday's 4-0 home trouncing of Chunnam Dragons, with Brazilian Fabricio Souza scoring twice.


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(Editor:intern1)

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