• Kyodo


J. League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima were drawn in Group F with FC Seoul, Buriram United and the playoff winner from either Australia, China, India or Singapore for next season’s Asian Champions League on Thursday.

The yet-to-be-determined Emperor’s Cup champions have been slotted in Group G with Melbourne Victory, Suwon Samsung and a team from China, Thailand or Malaysia that advances from a playoff.

The third team from Japan was slotted into Group H with holders Guangzhou Evergrande, Sydney FC and a side that will advance from a playoff between clubs from South Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

A potential fourth club from the J. League could enter the fray in Group E via the playoffs along with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Jiangsu Sainty and Becamex Binh Duong.

Sanfrecce and the second- and third-place finishers in the J. League, Gamba Osaka and Urawa Reds, respectively, are assured of a place in the competition. If one of those three teams win the Emperor’s Cup, fourth-place FC Tokyo heads to the Group E playoff.

The Australian team that will fight for the final Group F place alongside Sanfrecce is 2008 Asian Champions League runners-up, Adelaide United. Adelaide lost to Gamba in the 2008 final, 5-0.

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