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China's Guangzhou in tricky AFC Champions League group
Published in Ahram Online on 10 - 12 - 2013

Champions Guangzhou Evergrande of China drew a familiar rival in 2006 winners Jeonbuk Motors of South Korea but were kept guessing about the other two opponents in their group for the 2014 AFC Champions League.
Big-spending Guangzhou, led by Italy's 2006 World Cup- winning coach Marcello Lippi, became the first winners of the continent's premier club competition last month after defeating FC Seoul in a two-legged final.
Lippi's men, who were also drawn with Jeonbuk in last year's edition, will have to wait for the final composition of Group G with the champions of Japan's Emperor's Cup, to be decided on Jan. 1, and a playoff winner slated to complete it.
J-League winners Sanfrecce Hiroshima got FC Seoul and Australian champions Central Coast Mariners in Group F after the format was revamped to keep East and West Asian rivals apart until the semi-finals.
The Western Sydney Wanderers will face Chinese FA Cup winners Guizhou Renhe, K-League runners-up Ulsan Hyundai and the J-League runners-up in Group H.
The 2011 winners Al Sadd of Qatar were pooled with United Arab Emirates' Al Ahli, Saudi outfit Al Hilal and Iran's Sepahan in Group D while twice champions Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia were drawn with Al Ain of UAE and Iran's Tractorsazi Tabriz.
West Asia draw:
Group A - Esteghlal (Iran), Al Rayyan (Qatar), Al Jazira (UAE), Al Shabab (Saudi Arabia)
Group B - Al Fateh (Saudi Arabia), Foolad Khouzestan (Iran), Playoff winners (West), Bunyondkor (Uzbekistan)
Group C - Al Ain (UAE), Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia), Tractorsazi Tabriz (Iran), Playoff winners (West)
Group D - Al Sadd (Qatar), Al Ahli (UAE), Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia), Sepahan (Iran)
East Asia draw:
Group E - Pohang Steelers (South Korea), Buriram United (Thailand), Shandong Luneng Taishan (China), League third place (Japan)
Group F - Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan), Central Coast Mariners (Australia), FC Seoul (South Korea), Playoff winners (East)
Group G - Guangzhou Evergrande (China), Knock-Out champion(Japan), Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (South Korea), Playoff winners (East)
Group H - Western Sydney Wanderers (Australia), Guizhou Renhe (China), League runners-up (Japan), Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea)
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