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Soccer-Guangzhou draw Jeonbuk in tricky AFC Champions League group

Reuters

Dec 10 (Reuters) - Champions Guangzhou Evergrande of China drew a familiar rival in 2006 winners Jeonbuk Motors of South Korea but were kept guessing about the other two opponents in their group for the 2014 AFC Champions League.

Big-spending Guangzhou, led by Italy's 2006 World Cup- winning coach Marcello Lippi, became the first winners of the continent's premier club competition last month after defeating FC Seoul in a two-legged final.

Lippi's men, who were also drawn with Jeonbuk in last year's edition, will have to wait for the final composition of Group G with the champions of Japan's Emperor's Cup, to be decided on Jan. 1, and a playoff winner slated to complete it.

J-League winners Sanfrecce Hiroshima got FC Seoul and Australian champions Central Coast Mariners in Group F after the format was revamped to keep East and West Asian rivals apart until the semi-finals.

The Western Sydney Wanderers will face Chinese FA Cup winners Guizhou Renhe, K-League runners-up Ulsan Hyundai and the J-League runners-up in Group H.

The 2011 winners Al Sadd of Qatar were pooled with United Arab Emirates' Al Ahli, Saudi outfit Al Hilal and Iran's Sepahan in Group D while twice champions Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia were drawn with Al Ain of UAE and Iran's Tractorsazi Tabriz.

West Asia draw:

Group A - Esteghlal (Iran), Al Rayyan (Qatar), Al Jazira (UAE), Al Shabab (Saudi Arabia)

Group B - Al Fateh (Saudi Arabia), Foolad Khouzestan (Iran), Playoff winners (West), Bunyondkor (Uzbekistan)

Group C - Al Ain (UAE), Al Ittihad (Saudi Arabia), Tractorsazi Tabriz (Iran), Playoff winners (West)

Group D - Al Sadd (Qatar), Al Ahli (UAE), Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia), Sepahan (Iran)

East Asia draw:

Group E - Pohang Steelers (South Korea), Buriram United (Thailand), Shandong Luneng Taishan (China), League third place (Japan)

Group F - Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan), Central Coast Mariners (Australia), FC Seoul (South Korea), Playoff winners (East)

Group G - Guangzhou Evergrande (China), Knock-Out champion(Japan), Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (South Korea), Playoff winners (East)

Group H - Western Sydney Wanderers (Australia), Guizhou Renhe (China), League runners-up (Japan), Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea) (Writing by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ed Osmond)

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