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AFC Champions League-S Korea

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, May 20 (Yonhap) -- Following their subpar performances last week, two South Korean first-division football teams now face must-win situations in AFC Champions League action.

FC Seoul and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, representing the K League Classic, have to win the second legs in their round of 16 series this week to advance at the continent's premier club tournament.

The K League Classic has produced three of the past four AFC champions.

FC Seoul will host Beijing Guoan of the Chinese Super League at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Jeonbuk travels to Japan to play Kashiwa Reysol at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Hitachi Kashiwa Stadium.

Last week, FC Seoul was held to a 0-0 draw by the underdog Beijing. Jeonbuk suffered a 2-0 loss against Kashiwa at home.

FC Seoul is trying to reach the AFC quarterfinals for the second time in three years. Jeonbuk was the AFC champion in 2006 and the runner-up in 2011 but failed to get past the group stage in 2012.

Teams play two legs on a home-and-away basis in the round of 16, with the aggregate score determining the winner.

Under the "away goals" rule, if the teams are tied in total score after both legs, then the one with more away goals will be declared the winner.

If the teams end up with the same number of total and away goals, then they will play two periods of extra time and, if necessary, will compete in a penalty shootout.

Last Tuesday, FC Seoul played the final 30 minutes short-handed, as wingback Choi Hyo-jin picked up two yellow cards early in the second half.

Choi Yong-soo, FC Seoul's head coach, breathed a sigh of relief after the draw, saying his team was lucky not to have given up a goal against the aggressive Beijing team.

At a pregame press conference held Monday, Choi said his players will give everything they have against Beijing.

"Our guys become more confident and play better at home," he said. "Beijing is a strong defensive club, but I believe our offense can still beat it."

Because of the away goals rule, Beijing will advance if it scores at least one goal in a tie. If the teams end up in a 1-1 draw, Beijing will have one away goal, compared to none by Seoul.

Choi said he wants to ensure his players don't get ahead of themselves.

"We want to avoid a situation where we give up the first goal and start rushing things offensively," the coach said. "The worst case scenario for us would be to trade goals (with Beijing) and end up with a draw or a loss."

Having dodged a loss, all FC Seoul needs is to win by one goal.

Jeonbuk faces a much taller order, having conceded two away goals to Kashiwa. That means Jeonbuk has to win by at least the score of 3-1 on Wednesday.

In that scenario, both Jeonbuk and Kashiwa will end up with three goals apiece after two games, but Jeonbuk will advance thanks to three away goals, compared to two away goals by Kashiwa.

Fabio Lefundes, Jeonbuk's interim head coach, is carrying a depleted team to Japan, with at least three regular players likely out with injuries. Lefundes has said he doesn't expect to have a healthy lineup for this week and will try the best he can with the players that he has.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130520/afc-champions-league-s-korea-0