2017 AFC Champions League
The 2017 AFC Champions League was the 36th edition of Asia's premier club football tournament organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and the 15th under the current AFC Champions League title.
24 January – 8 February 2017
20 February – 25 November 2017
|Teams||Competition proper: 32|
Total: 47 (from 19 associations)
|Champions||Urawa Red Diamonds (2nd title)|
|Goals scored||394 (3.13 per match)|
|Attendance||1,779,826 (14,126 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Omar Kharbin|
|Best player(s)||Yōsuke Kashiwagi|
|Fair play award||Urawa Red Diamonds|
Urawa Red Diamonds defeated Al-Hilal in the final to win their second AFC Champions League title, and qualified as the AFC representative at the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors were the defending champions, but they were excluded from the 2017 season due to a bribery scandal in the domestic K League Classic. Jeonbuk appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but their request for provisional measures was rejected on 3 February.
Association team allocationEdit
The AFC Competitions Committee proposed a revamp of the AFC club competitions on 25 January 2014, which was ratified by the AFC Executive Committee on 16 April 2014. The 46 AFC member associations (excluding the associate member Northern Mariana Islands) are ranked based on their national team's and clubs' performance over the last four years in AFC competitions, with the allocation of slots for the 2017 and 2018 editions of the AFC club competitions determined by the 2016 AFC rankings (Entry Manual Article 2.2):
- The associations are split into two regions:
- West Region consists of the associations from the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), the Central Asian Football Association (CAFA), and the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF).
- East Region consists of the associations from the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF).
- In each region, there are four groups in the group stage, including a total of 12 direct slots, with the 4 remaining slots filled through play-offs.
- The top 12 associations in each region as per the AFC rankings are eligible to enter the AFC Champions League, as long as they fulfill the AFC Champions League criteria.
- The top six associations in each region get at least one direct slot in the group stage, while the remaining associations get only play-off slots (as well as AFC Cup group stage slots):
- The associations ranked 1st and 2nd each get three direct slots and one play-off slot.
- The associations ranked 3rd and 4th each get two direct slots and two play-off slots.
- The associations ranked 5th each get one direct slot and two play-off slots.
- The associations ranked 6th each get one direct slot and one play-off slot.
- The associations ranked 7th to 12th each get one play-off slot.
- The maximum number of slots for each association is one-third of the total number of eligible teams in the top division.
- If any association gives up its direct slots, they are redistributed to the highest eligible association, with each association limited to a maximum of three direct slots.
- If any association gives up its play-off slots, they are annulled and not redistributed to any other association.
For the 2017 AFC Champions League, the associations were allocated slots according to their association ranking published on 30 November 2016, which takes into account their performance in the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup, as well as their national team's FIFA World Rankings, during the period between 2013 and 2016.
The slot allocation was announced on 7 December 2016, with India and Maldives returning to the West Region. The final slot allocation, after unused slots were redistributed, was announced on 12 December 2016.
|Participation for 2017 AFC Champions League|
- Australia (AUS): The top division run by the Football Federation Australia, the A-League, only had nine Australia-based teams in the 2015–16 season, so Australia could only get a maximum of three total slots (Entry Manual 5.4).
- Indonesia (IDN): Indonesia did not submit any entry.
- Iraq (IRQ): Iraq did not fulfill the AFC Champions League criteria.
- Kuwait (KUW): Kuwait could not enter due to FIFA's suspension of the Kuwait Football Association at the entry deadline.
- Lebanon (LIB): Lebanon did not fulfill the AFC Champions League criteria.
- Syria (SYR): Syria did not fulfill the AFC Champions League criteria.
The following 47 teams from 19 associations entered the competition.
In the following table, the number of appearances and last appearance count only those since the 2002–03 season (including qualifying rounds), when the competition was rebranded as the AFC Champions League.
- Hong Kong (HKG): Eastern, the 2015–16 Hong Kong Premier League champions, initially gave up their place in the AFC Champions League due to financial problems. As a result, the Hong Kong Football Association decided that Kitchee, the 2015–16 Hong Kong Season Play-off winners, would enter the group stage instead of the qualifying play-offs, while Southern District, the play-off runners-up, would enter the qualifying play-offs. However, the AFC did not allow Kitchee to replace Eastern in the AFC Champions League group stage, and Kitchee would still enter the qualifying play-offs, while Southern District would not be able to participate in the AFC Champions League. On 21 November 2016, the Hong Kong Football Association announced they had reversed their decision and would put forward Eastern and Kitchee as their representatives.
- South Korea (KOR): On 18 January 2017, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, the 2016 K League Classic runners-up, were excluded from the 2017 AFC Champions League due to a bribery scandal in the domestic K League Classic. As a result, Jeju United, the league 3rd place, entered the group stage instead of the qualifying play-offs to replace them, while Ulsan Hyundai, the league 4th place, entered the qualifying play-offs to replace Jeju United.
- Saudi Arabia (KSA): Al-Ittihad, the 2015–16 Saudi Professional League 3rd place, could not participate in the AFC Champions League due to club licensing requirements problems. As a result, Al-Taawoun, the league 4th place, entered the group stage instead of the qualifying play-offs, while Al-Fateh, the league 5th place, entered the qualifying play-offs.
- Singapore (SIN): Albirex Niigata Singapore, the 2016 S.League champions, is a satellite team of Japanese club Albirex Niigata and thus ineligible to represent Singapore in AFC club competitions. As a result, Tampines Rovers, the league runners-up, entered the qualifying play-offs.
- Thailand (THA): Due to the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Football Association of Thailand cancelled the remainder of the 2016 Thai football season on 14 October 2016. The standings of the 2016 Thai Premier League at the point of cancellation were declared as final, meaning Muangthong United and Bangkok United finished as the league champions and runners-up respectively. The four semi-finalists of the 2016 Thai FA Cup were declared as co-winners, and a draw was held to decide which team would represent Thailand in the AFC Champions League, and was won by Sukhothai.
|Stage||Round||Draw date||First leg||Second leg|
|Preliminary stage||Preliminary round 1||No draw||24 January 2017|
|Preliminary round 2||25 & 31 January 2017|
|Play-off stage||Play-off round||7–8 February 2017|
|Group stage||Matchday 1||13 December 2016
(Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
|20–22 February 2017|
|Matchday 2||27 February – 1 March 2017|
|Matchday 3||13–15 March 2017|
|Matchday 4||10–12 April 2017|
|Matchday 5||24–26 April 2017|
|Matchday 6||8–10 May 2017|
|Knockout stage||Round of 16||22–24 May 2017||29–31 May 2017|
|Quarter-finals||6 June 2017
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
|21–23 August 2017||11–13 September 2017|
|Semi-finals||26–27 September 2017||17–18 October 2017|
|Final||18 November 2017||25 November 2017|
In the qualifying play-offs, each tie was played as a single match. Extra time and penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary (Regulations Article 9.2). The eight winners of the play-off round advanced to the group stage to join the 24 direct entrants. All losers in each round from associations with only play-off slots entered the AFC Cup group stage.
The bracket of the qualifying play-offs for each region was determined by the AFC based on the association ranking of each team, with the team from the higher-ranked association hosting the match. Teams from the same association could not be placed into the same play-off.
Preliminary round 1Edit
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
Preliminary round 2Edit
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|Kitchee||3–2 (a.e.t.)||Hà Nội|
|Bangkok United||1–1 (a.e.t.)
|Johor Darul Ta'zim|
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|El Jaish||0–0 (a.e.t.)
|Ulsan Hyundai||1–1 (a.e.t.)
|Gamba Osaka||3–0||Johor Darul Ta'zim|
|Shanghai Shenhua||0–2||Brisbane Roar|
The draw for the group stage was held on 13 December 2016, 16:00 MYT (UTC+8), at the Hilton Petaling Jaya in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The 32 teams were drawn into eight groups of four: four groups each in the West Region (Groups A–D) and the East Region (Groups E–H). Teams from the same association could not be drawn into the same group. In the group stage, each group was played on a home-and-away round-robin basis. The winners and runners-up of each group advanced to the round of 16 of the knockout stage.
|The teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss). If tied on points, tiebreakers were applied in the following order (Regulations Article 10.5):|
|1||Al-Ahli||6||3||2||1||10||5||+5||11[a]||Round of 16||—||2–1||0–0||4–0|
- Head-to-head results: Al-Ahli 2–1 Esteghlal, Esteghlal 1–1 Al-Ahli.
- Head-to-head results: Al-Taawoun 1–0 Lokomotiv Tashkent, Lokomotiv Tashkent 4–4 Al-Taawoun.
|1||Lekhwiya||6||4||2||0||15||6||+9||14||Round of 16||—||2–1||4–1||3–0|
|1||Al-Ain||6||3||3||0||14||7||+7||12||Round of 16||—||2–2||1–1||3–0|
|1||Al-Hilal||6||3||3||0||10||7||+3||12||Round of 16||—||0–0||2–1||1–0|
|1||Kashima Antlers||6||4||0||2||13||5||+8||12||Round of 16||—||2–1||2–0||3–0|
|1||Urawa Red Diamonds||6||4||0||2||18||7||+11||12[a]||Round of 16||—||1–0||5–2||6–1|
|4||Western Sydney Wanderers||6||2||0||4||10||22||−12||6[b]||0–4||3–2||2–3||—|
- Head-to-head results: Shanghai SIPG 3–2 Urawa Red Diamonds, Urawa Red Diamonds 1–0 Shanghai SIPG (Urawa Red Diamonds won on away goals).
- Head-to-head results: FC Seoul 2–3 Western Sydney Wanderers, Western Sydney Wanderers 2–3 FC Seoul (tied on head-to-head results, ranked on total goal difference).
|1||Kawasaki Frontale||6||2||4||0||8||3||+5||10[a]||Round of 16||—||0–0||1–1||4–0|
|3||Suwon Samsung Bluewings||6||2||3||1||11||6||+5||9||0–1||2–2||—||5–0|
- Head-to-head results: Guangzhou Evergrande 1–1 Kawasaki Frontale, Kawasaki Frontale 0–0 Guangzhou Evergrande (Kawasaki Frontale won on away goals).
|1||Jiangsu Suning||6||5||0||1||9||3||+6||15||Round of 16||—||1–2||2–1||3–0|
In the knockout stage, the 16 teams played a single-elimination tournament, with the teams split into the two regions until the final. Each tie was played on a home-and-away two-legged basis. The away goals rule, extra time (away goals would not apply in extra time) and penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary (Regulations Article 11.3).
|Round of 16||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Final|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||1||1||2|
|Shanghai SIPG (p)||4||1||5 (5)|
|Guangzhou Evergrande||0||5||5 (4)|
|Guangzhou Evergrande (a)||1||1||2|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||1||1||2|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||1||4||5|
|Urawa Red Diamonds (a.e.t.)||0||3||3|
Round of 16Edit
In the round of 16, the winners of one group played the runners-up of another group from the same region, with the matchups determined by the group stage draw, and the group winners hosting the second leg.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Muangthong United||2–7||Kawasaki Frontale||1–3||1–4|
|Guangzhou Evergrande||2–2 (a)||Kashima Antlers||1–0||1–2|
|Shanghai SIPG||5–3||Jiangsu Suning||2–1||3–2|
|Jeju United||2–3||Urawa Red Diamonds||2–0||0–3 (a.e.t.)|
The draw for the quarter-finals was held on 6 June 2017. In the quarter-finals, the four teams from the West Region played in two ties, and the four teams from the East Region played in two ties, with the matchups and order of legs decided by draw, without any seeding or country protection.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Shanghai SIPG||5–5 (5–4 p)||Guangzhou Evergrande||4–0||1–5 (a.e.t.)|
|Kawasaki Frontale||4–5||Urawa Red Diamonds||3–1||1–4|
In the semi-finals, the two quarter-final winners from the West Region played each other, and the two quarter-final winners from the East Region played each other, with the order of legs determined by the quarter-final draw.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Shanghai SIPG||1–2||Urawa Red Diamonds||1–1||0–1|
In the final, the two semi-final winners played each other, with the order of legs (first leg hosted by team from the West Region, second leg hosted by team from the East Region) reversed from the previous season's final.
|Al-Hilal||1–1||Urawa Red Diamonds|
|Urawa Red Diamonds||1–0||Al-Hilal|
Urawa Red Diamonds won 2–1 on aggregate.
|Most Valuable Player||Yōsuke Kashiwagi||Urawa Red Diamonds|
|Top Goalscorer||Omar Kharbin||Al-Hilal|
|Fair Play Award||—||Urawa Red Diamonds|
|Rafael Silva||Urawa Red Diamonds||1||1||1||2||1||1||1||1|
|Ricardo Goulart||Guangzhou Evergrande||1||1||2||3|
|9||Yu Kobayashi||Kawasaki Frontale||1||1||1||1||2||6|
Note: Goals scored in the qualifying play-offs are not counted when determining top scorer (Regulations Article 64.4).
Player of the week awardsEdit
|Matchday||Toyota Player of the Week|
|Matchday 1||Youssef El-Arabi||Lekhwiya|
|Matchday 2||Kim In-sung||Ulsan Hyundai|
|Matchday 3||Yun Il-lok||FC Seoul|
|Matchday 4||Ko Seung-beom||Suwon Samsung Bluewings|
|Matchday 5||Khalid Eisa||Al-Ain|
|Matchday 6||Nicolás Milesi||Al-Hilal|
|Round of 16 1st leg||Teerasil Dangda||Muangthong United|
|Round of 16 2nd leg||Omar Abdulrahman||Al-Ain|
|Quarter-finals 1st leg||Yu Kobayashi||Kawasaki Frontale|
|Quarter-finals 2nd leg||Carlos Eduardo||Al-Hilal|
|Semi-finals 1st leg||Omar Kharbin||Al-Hilal|
|Semi-finals 2nd leg||Godwin Mensha||Persepolis|
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- "Chan Yuen-ting poised to become first female head coach in the AFC Champions League after Eastern are reinstated". South China Morning Post. 21 November 2016.
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- "AFC Champions League 2017: Official Draw". YouTube. 13 December 2016.
- "AFC Champions League 2017 draw concluded". AFC. 14 December 2016.
- "AFC Champions League 2017 - Official Draw". YouTube. 6 June 2017.
- "AFC Champions League quarter-final ties confirmed". AFC. 6 June 2017.
- "Yosuke Kashiwagi clinches AFC Champions League MVP Award". AFC. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- "Omar Khribin bags AFC Champions League Top Scorer Award". AFC. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
- "Top Goal Scorers (by Stage) – 2017 AFC Champions League (Group Stage, Round of 16, Knock-out Stage)". the-afc.com. AFC.
- "ACL MD1 Toyota Player of the Week". AFC. 27 February 2017.
- "ACL 2017 MD2 Toyota Player of the Week: Kim In-sung". AFC. 3 March 2017.
- "ACL 2017 MD3 Toyota Player of the Week: Yun Il-lok". AFC. 16 March 2017.
- "ACL 2017 MD4 Toyota Player of the Week: Ko Seung-beom". AFC. 14 April 2017.
- "ACL 2017 MD5 Toyota Player of the Week: Khalid Eisa". AFC. 28 April 2017.
- "ACL 2017 MD6 Toyota Player of the Week: Nicolas Milesi". AFC. 12 May 2017.
- "#ACL2017 Round of 16 Toyota Player of the Week: Teerasil Dangda". AFC. 25 May 2017.
- "#ACL2017 Toyota Player of the Week: Omar Abdulrahman". AFC. 1 June 2017.
- "ACL 2017 Quarter-final 1st leg Toyota Player of the Week: Yu Kobayashi". AFC. 25 August 2017.
- "ACL 2017 Quarter-final 2nd Leg Toyota Player of the Week: Carlos Eduardo". AFC. 14 September 2017.
- "ACL 2017 Semi-final 1st leg Toyota Player of the Week: Omar Khribin". AFC. 28 September 2017.
- "ACL 2017 Semi-final 2nd leg Toyota Player of the Week: Godwin Mensha". AFC. 19 October 2017.
- "ACL2017 Final Toyota Player of the Week: Mohammed Al Burayk". AFC. 27 November 2017.