UNITED CITY FC will go up against Japan league champion Kawasaki Frontale and China’s Guangzhou in its historic appearance in the 2021 AFC Champions League.
United City drew with the powerhouse clubs in Group I East Zone in the club’s debut in the top club competition in Asia to be played from April 21 to May 7, the venue still to be determined under a centralized format or bubble set-up.
A fourth club will be determined after the playoff stage.
United City is set to become the first Philippine-based football club to play in the AFC Champions League. But as expected, the Philippines Football League champion will have a daunting task of obtaining a point in the group stage.
Kawasaki Frontale recently ruled the J1 League for the third straight time last year. Yu Kobayashi is the player to watch for Kawasaski, being the top Japanese goal scorer in the domestic league last year.
Guangzhou, on the other hand, is no pushover either as it finished second in the 2020 season of the Chinese Super League. A notable player for Guangzhou is Paulinho, who played for Brazil in the Fifa World Cup as well as with Tottenham Hotspur and FC Barcelona.
United City took over the ownership of Ceres-Negros FC last year, obtaining the core of the Busmen that have been competing in AFC Cup competitions.
With Stephan Schrock and Bienvenido Maranon leading the way, United City ruled the shortened season of the 2020 played in a bubble set-up in Carmona, Cavite.
The Asian Football Confederation expanded the roster of teams to 40 for 2021, an increase from 32 in previous editions.