Qatar to host western knockout matches in Asian Champions League

Urawa secured their place in the final for the fourth time last August but the completion of the western half of the continental championship was delayed because of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup.

FILE PHOTO: Ulsan Hyundai players celebrate with the AFC Champions League trophy after winning the final against Persepolis in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on December 19, 2020. 

FILE PHOTO: Ulsan Hyundai players celebrate with the AFC Champions League trophy after winning the final against Persepolis in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on December 19, 2020.  | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Urawa secured their place in the final for the fourth time last August but the completion of the western half of the continental championship was delayed because of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup.

Qatar will host the knockout rounds for the western half of the 2022 Asian Champions League draw in February with eight teams battling it out to decide who meets Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds in the final in April and May.

Urawa secured their place in the final for the fourth time last August but the completion of the western half of the continental championship was delayed because of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup.

The eight teams, led by reigning champions Al Hilal and fellow Saudis Al Shabab, completed their group matches in a centralised venue in April last year.

Al Shabab face Uzbek outfit Nasaf Qarshi in a one-off tie on Feb. 19 in Al Wakrah, while Al Hilal play Emirati side Shabab Al Ahli at the same Al Janoub stadium a day later.

The other ties at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium over the same two days pitch Qatari rivals Al Duhail and Al Rayyan against each other and Iran’s Foolad against a third Saudi club, Al-Faisaly.

The final four West Asian clubs will face off in elimination ties on Feb. 23 with the semi-final three days later.

The competition will revert to the traditional two legs for the final with Urawa visiting West Asia on April 29 and hosting the second match in Saitama on May 6.

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