AFC Champions League 2017

Guangzhou Evergrande to face Shanghai SIPG in all-China AFC Champions League quarter-final

Tuesday’s draw pits Chinese Super League rivals against each other, with Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale and Urawa Red Diamonds in the other last eight tie in the East

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 June, 2017, 4:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 June, 2017, 9:39pm

Two-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande will face fellow Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG in a mouth-watering quarter-final of the AFC Champions League following Tuesday’s draw in Kuala Lumpur.

SIPG will host the first leg on August 22 before the return leg takes place in Guangzhou on September 12.

The winner will face Japanese opposition in the semi-finals, with Kawasaki Frontale taking on former champions Urawa Red Diamonds in the other last eight tie in the East.

With the tournament split until the final, the winner of the Eastern semi-final will take on West Asia’s leading side in November’s two-legged final.

In the quarter-finals, Al Ain from the United Arab Emirates will take on Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal, with fellow Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli drawn to face Iran’s Persepolis.

Guangzhou and SIPG are separated by just two points at the top of the Super League after 12 games, with Luiz Felipe Scolari’s six-time defending champions leading the way after winning their last eight domestic outings.

Andre Villas-Boas’ SIPG, though, have kept pace with a five-match win streak of their own having also dispatched fellow Super League side Jiangsu Suning in the last 16.

Guangzhou ended China’s long wait for another continental champion by winning the AFC Champions League title under Italian Marcello Lippi in 2013 before adding a second title in 2015 under Brazilian Scolari.

“We don’t care whether the draw is lucky or not, what matters on the field is our strength,” a Guangzhou Evergrande official said.

“The three other teams in the east zone have all played against us in the CSL or ACL, we are quite familiar with each other. All of them are strong and we respect each of them.

“Any result is normal as there isn’t the rule that demands the two teams from the same country avoid each other in this year’s draw. Of course, it will be a pity for Chinese fans as they wish to see the two Chinese sides in the final.”