Champions League crunch time: How have Southeast Asian teams fared?

Malaysia Super League (MSL) champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) have an enormous task against Japan’s Gamba Osaka in the AFC Champions League Playoff on Tuesday. Here FourFourTwo looks at other Southeast Asian clubs in the final qualifying round over the past five years…

2016

FC Tokyo 9 Chonburi 0

There has not been a more one-sided match in the final qualifying round than this one.

The Thai club visited Toyko’s Ajimoto Stadium following its extra-time win against Myanmar’s Yangon United and took just minutes to feel out of place in frigid temperatures of just six degrees.

Own goals by forward Rodrigo Vergilio and skipper Chonlatit Jantakam, in the sixth and 84th-minutes respectively, were the bookends of a steady stream of Tokyo goals in a 9-0 thumping.

Shanghai SIPG 3 Muangthong United 0

The then-Thai Premier League (TPL) runners-up defeated JDT on penalties in the preliminary round to earn themselves a trip to China.

Muangthong United goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan had a busy night at Shanghai Stadium, often coming out on top, but there was no denying the gulf in class as the hosts ran out 3-0 winners to reach the Champions League main draw for the first time since their inception in 2005.

CSL clubs like SIPG have proven tough to overcome

2015

Kashiwa Reysol 3 Chonburi 2 (after extra-time)

JDT will want to use this match as proof they do stand a chance, as small as it may be, against a Japanese club.

Thai standouts Chonburi were four minutes away from taking Kashiwa to a shootout at the Hitachi Kashiwa Soccer Stadium before Leandro bagged his second of the night in extra time to take the hosts through.

Kashiwa took the lead twice but the Thais equalised each time and gave Tatsuma Yoshida’s men problems throughout the match.

Chonburi custodian Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool pulled off several saves to keep the visitors in the game, something Farizal Marlias will need to replicate on Tuesday.

Beijing Guoan 3 Bangkok Glass 0

Bangkok Glass comfortably disposed of JDT 3-0 in the earlier round – the latter’s first attempt at making the Champions League – but, like Muangthong United a year later, a Chinese Super League side again proved too hot to handle  for Thai opposition.

Beijing Guoan, who had then qualified for six of the past seven group stages, tested the visitors from the start and ended up comfortable winners via a brace from Pablo Batalla and a another goal from Song Boxuan.

Bangkok fell short in 2015

2014

Beijing Guoan 4 Chonburi 0

Then referred to as the qualifying third round, Chonburi (main pic above) were facing a swift exit before they had barely begun, picking the ball out of the back of the net in Beijing’s first attack in just the first minute.

By the time 18 minutes had elapsed, the Thais were down 3-0. The hosts then eased their foot off the accelerator as the match progressed but still dominated proceedings, adding a little icing on the cake with a fourth goal in the 89th minute.

[It's sorry reading so far. Can we find a SEA winner over the page?]