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Thai test for Urawa as Kobe draw Jeonbuk in Asian Champions League

TOKYO: Two-time Asian Champions League winners Urawa Red Diamonds will take on Thailand's BG Pathum United in Monday's quarter-finals at Saitama Stadium with South Korea's Jeonbuk Motors facing J1 League strugglers Vissel Kobe.

Urawa, winners of the continental title in 2006 and 2016, were drawn to face Makoto Teguramori's side on Saturday (Aug 20) after handing Malaysian outfit Johor Darul Tazim a 5-0 thrashing in the Round of 16 on Friday evening.

The Thais booked their spot with a comfortable 4-0 win over Hong Kong's Kitchee and are making their first-ever appearance in the last eight of the competition.

"Of course every team has shown something to be here in this moment, so any club is going to be difficult," said Urawa coach Ricardo Rodriguez.

"I was coach of (BG Pathum United) a few years ago so I have good memories, it will be a very special game for me.

"It will not be an easy game so we will have to show a high level."

Jeonbuk, who have also won the title twice, meet a Vissel Kobe side that put aside their poor form in the J1 League to beat fellow Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos in the previous round.

The South Koreans advanced to the last eight after a lengthy struggle against fellow K-League club Daegu FC, with Kim Jin-kyu scoring in injury time at the end of extra-time.

"No matter who we face, what we do and how we approach the game is going to be the same but we'll be playing a fantastic team from Korea and we're looking forward to that match," said Kobe coach Takayuki Yoshida.

The quarter-finals will be played on Monday with the semi-final held on Thursday. The winner of that clash with face the leading side in west Asia in the final.

Clubs in the west will hold their next round of matches in early February, with the final played on a home-and-away basis on Feb 19 and 26.

Source: Reuters/ga

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