2019 AFC Champions League Second Preliminary Stage : Records and Statistics Preview
Second preliminary stage of 2019 AFC Champions League will be played on 12 February. 16 clubs will hope to advance to the play-off round. From eight matches that will be played, seven of them will be the first ever match between the clubs. Here are the short preview from us :
Pakhtakor (Uzbekistan) vs Al Quwa Al Jawiya (Iraq)
This will be the first time an Iraqi club play in AFC Champions League since 2014, which saw Al Shorta defeated by Al Kuwait 0-1. This also will be Al Quwa Al Jawiya’s first ACL match in 11 years. Al Quwa Al Jawiya has never played in ACL qualifiers, so this will be their first qualifying play-off match ever. Al Quwa Al Jawiya has only played against one Uzbek clubs in Asian club competitions. In 1997 Cup Winners’ Cup, they drew 6-6 on aggregate against Navbahor Namangan, losing on away-goals. As AFC Cup champions in last three consecutive years, this match will prove their worth among Asia’s best.
For Pakhtakor, this will be their second consecutive attempt in ACL qualifiers. Last year, they lose against Al Gharafa of Qatar 1-2. Pakhtakor is a quite established name in AFC Champions League. Since the tournament inception in 2002, they only missed out on two occasions, 2014 and 2017. They also have played 88 matches in ACL. However, their records against Iraqi clubs is quite average. Pakhtakor won 3 matches and lose 2 matches. The last time they played an Iraqi club is in 2008, where they won twice against Erbil.
The winner of this match will play against Al Nasr of UAE in the play-off round
AGMK (Uzbekistan) vs Istiklol (Tajikistan)
This year is the first time AGMK has ever qualified for Asian club competitions, so this will be their first ever match. This year is also the first time ever a Tajik club qualified for AFC Champions League, so it will be Tajikistan’s first ACL match. So it will be historic for both of the teams.
This match will also be the first between Tajik and Uzbek clubs in Asian club competitions since 2002. Matches between them is dominated by Uzbek clubs. They won 6 matches out of 10. Istiklol has never played against an Uzbek club, so this will be their first time ever.
The winner of this match will play against Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia in the play-off round.
Saipa (IR Iran) vs Minerva Punjab (India)
Indian club will once again face Iranian club in ACL qualifiers. Last year, Aizawl has been denied by Zob Ahan 1-3 in the play-off round. This match will be the second between Indian and Iranian clubs in Asian club competitions.
It will be the first ACL match for Saipa since 2008. In that year, Saipa advances to quarter-finals. It also will be Minerva Punjab’s first ever match in Asian club competitions. The winner of this match will play against Al Rayyan in the play-off round.
Zob Ahan (IR Iran) vs Al Kuwait (Kuwait)
Like last year, Zob Ahan will start their journey in ACL from qualifiers. They will face Al Kuwait, which defeated Al Wehdat of Jordan in the previous round. It will be the first match ever between them. Zob Ahan also has never played against Kuwaiti clubs in Asian club competitions. However, Iranian clubs have good records against Kuwaiti clubs. They won eight, drew three, and lose three matches. The last time they met is in 2008, which seen Saipa played against Al Kuwait in group stage.
After three years absence in Asian club competitions, Al Kuwait is determined to show what they can do this year. Al Kuwait is already three time winners in AFC Cup, so they will try to take their next step to AFC Champions League. Unfortunately, they have bad records against Iranian clubs. They only drew one, lose two matches, and never won. The winner of this match will play against Al Gharafa in the play-off round.
Perak (Malaysia) vs Kitchee (Hong Kong)
Malaysia vs Hong Kong is a quite new rivalry in East Asia. In 2017, they compete to earn one last direct ACL slot. Malaysia won and they succeeded to take that slot from Hong Kong. Malaysia finished above Hong Kong only by mere 0.266 points. As a result, JDT qualified for this year’s ACL group stage. They also met in Asian Cup qualifiers, which seen Hong Kong finished third, while Malaysia finished fourth in the group.
It will be the first ever ACL match for Perak. It will be also the third time Perak and Kitchee met in Asian club competitions. The last time they met is in 2008 AFC Cup group stage. Perak won 2-1 and drew 2-2. Perak’s records against Hong Kong clubs is quite good. They won four, drew one, and lose two matches. Kitchee is the last Hong Kong club they ever faced.
The last time Kitchee met a Malaysian club in Asian club competitions is in 2015. They met JDT in AFC Cup group stage. Kitchee’s records against Malaysian clubs is average. They won three, drew two, and lose two matches. The winner of this match will play against Ulsan Hyundai in the play-off stage
Bangkok United (Thailand) vs Ha Noi (Vietnam)
Bangkok United will play again in ACL after 2017 edition. However, their record is very poor. They have never won a match in Asian club competitions, only drew four and lose three matches. They also have never met Vietnamese clubs.
In the other hand, Ha Noi is quite experienced in AFC club competitions. However, they didn’t qualified last year. Last year is disappointing for Vietnamese clubs, since none of them advances to knockout rounds. Vietnamese football is having a better year now and this match will be the first step they have to take. Ha Noi didn’t have much experience against Thai clubs in Asian club competitions. They have only met Muangthong United three times, never won any of them.
The winner of this match will play against Shandong Luneng in the play-off round.
Chiangrai United (Thailand) vs Yangon United (Myanmar)
Chiangrai United qualified again for ACL after last year’s campaign. They advances to play-off round last year. However, they defeated 0-1 by Shanghai SIPG. They will aim to do the same this year. This will be the first time they met clubs from Myanmar. Thai clubs have good records against Myanmar clubs, won three and drew one.
Yangon United advances to this round after defeating Ceres Negros in the previous round. After last year’s AFC Cup campaign which seen them top their group, they must want to do more. Yangon United have only ever met one Thai club, Chonburi. The last time they met in 2016, Yangon lose 2-3. The winner of this match will play against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the play-off round.
Newcastle Jets (Australia) vs Persija Jakarta (Indonesia)
Newcastle Jets is back in ACL after 10 years. In 2009, they advances to round of 16. They have never met an Indonesian club. Actually, it will only be the fourth meeting between Australian and Indonesian clubs in Asian club competitions. The last time is in 2012, which saw Adelaide United and Persipura Jayapura met in play-off round.
Persija Jakarta is also back after last year’s AFC Cup campaign. They defeated Home United in the previous round. Persija has never met Australian clubs before, so it will be their first time ever. The winner of this match will meet Kashima Antlers in the play-off round.