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Kaya Iloilo moves closer to AFC CL group stage spot after Brisbane pulls out

Kaya Iloilo will face Shanghai for the right to enter the AFC Champions League group stages. PFL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The Asian Football Confederation confirmed on Sunday that Kaya Iloilo would only need to hurdle one other club to join United City in the AFC Champions League group stages.

The AFC announced that Kaya Iloilo will face Shanghai Port in a knockout duel to decide the last member of Group F.

The match is set on June 23 at the Pathum Thani Stadium in Bangkok.

Initially, Kaya Iloilo was to take on Brisbane Roar in the first round of the ACL qualifiers for the right to face Shanghai next.

But with the decision of Brisbane and two more A-League clubs, Sydney and Melbourne, to back out of the ACL due to COVID-19 concerns, Kaya Iloilo moved up in the qualifiers and would now only need to beat the Chinese squad to enter the group stages.

Kaya Iloilo will still play continental group stage football regardless of the result against Shanghai as it already secured a place in the AFC Cup.

In a related development, Thai League 1 club Chiangrai has replaced Sydney as a Group H member, effectively canceling the former's qualifier against Daegu.

The K-League outfit has been given an outright spot in Group I, where United City is also a part of, in the process.

In another news, Cerezo Osaka has been given an outright group stage spot as well following the cancellation of its qualifier against Melbourne.

Osaka will join Port, Guangzhou, and Kitchee in Group J.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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