Next week sees the start of the 2020 Asian Champions League as the Preliminary rounds in both regions get underway. In the East region we have teams from The Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia clashing in the pursuit of glory and riches beyond the expectations of even the most optimistic among them.
Eastern Region Match 1 (1.3)
Ceres-Negros vs Shan United
Ceres-Negros return to the ACL having made their debut in 2018 where they defeated this year’s opponents Shan United 4-3 on penalties before stunning Brisbane Roar in Round 2 as they defeated the A-League team 3-2 in Australia. Their campaign came to an end as China’s Tianjin proved too strong for them losing the Playoff 2-0 in China. They did manage to reach the ASEAN Zonal Final of the AFC Cup after that defeat where they lost 3-1 on aggregate to Singapore’s Home United. If they overcome Shan United again this year then they will face Thailand’s Port FC in Round 2 with another mouthwatering clash with a Chinese Super League team in the form of Shanghai SIPG awaiting them in the Playoffs. Shan United have only clocked up the one match in the ACL which was that penalty defeat at home to Ceres in 2018, they qualified for this year’s tournament as Myanmar Champions, their second crown in 3yrs.
Eastern Region Match 2 (1.4)
Tampines Rovers vs Bali United
Singapore’s Tampines Rovers are no strangers to the ACL having qualified for the preliminary rounds five times since 2014 missing only the 2015 season when they finished 3rd in their league. They lost 3-1 to Bali United last year and have never actually made it past the 1st Round of the Preliminaries, but this is the first time that they’ve been at home since they lost to Hong Kong’s South China back in 2014. Bali United went on to lose 2-1 after extra time to Thailand’s Chiangri United last year in what was their first ever appearance in the tournament. The winner of this clash will travel to Australia to face Melbourne Victory in what, on paper, seems like the toughest tie in Round 2.
The full road to the Group Stages is below…