United City faces Beijing Sinobo Guoan in Champions League opener

Published February 20, 2021, 2:39 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PFL

United City will take on China’s Beijing Sinobo Guoan to begin its historic AFC Champions League group stage campaign on April 21 in a centralized venue that will be determined on a later date.

The third placer of last season’s Chinese Super League is expected to give the Philippines Football League champion a major test in the first-ever appearance of a Filipino club in Asia’s premier club competition.

Also on tap for United City in Group I according to the schedule released on the AFC’s official site are matches against South Korea’s Daegu or Thailand’s Chiangrai United on April 24 and Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale on April 27.

UCFC will again face Kawasaki on April 30, Beijing on May 3 before wrapping up its group stage assignment opposite Daegu or Chiangrai on May 6.

United City became the country’s first club to play in the Champions League group stage by virtue of capturing the shortened PFL season last October at the National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite.

But UCFC won’t be having some of its key players from the title run in the Champions League, namely OJ Porteria, Manny Ott and Senegalese striker Robert Lopez Mendy after signing for clubs overseas.