Sydney FC’s ACL Two Path Revealed

Sydney FC’s potential AFC Champions League Two™ opponents and a huge prize pot for winning the tournament have been unveiled, as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) released further details of its new three-tier club continental competition.

The Sky Blues are one of 32 teams set to clash in the inaugural contest which will net the winner at least USD $3.28 million plus a slot in the following season’s AFC Champions League Elite.

The official draw ceremony for the Group Stage will be conducted on Friday 16th August and involves 16 teams from the AFC East region and 16 from AFC West.

The 32-strong cast are divided evenly into eight groups to contest a round-robin, home-and-away format from September 17 to December 5.


 Rank  Member Association Club
1JapanSanfrecce Hiroshima
2Korea RepublicJeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC 
3China PRZhejiang FC
4ThailandPort FC
5AustraliaSydney FC
6MalaysiaSelangor FC
8Hong Kong, ChinaLee ManEastern
10SingaporeLion City Sailors FCTampines Rovers FC 
12IndonesiaPersib Bandung
Note: In addition to the above, one team that is eliminated from the ACL Elite 2024/25 Preliminary Stage (East) will qualify directly for the ACL Two 2024/25 Group Stage (East)

Following the conclusion of the Group Stage, the top two finishers from each group advance to the double-legged Round of 16, which takes place from February 11 to 20, 2025.

The pairings will be determined by the Knockout Stage draw, which will also chart the pathways for the Quarter-finals, Semi-finals and Final; regional division will apply throughout the entire tournament.
The Quarter-finals and Semi-finals, both double-legged affairs, will be played between March 4 and 13, 2025 and April 8 and 16, 2025 respectively, before the season culminates in a single-leg Final on May 17, 2025.
The overview of the ACL Two 2024/25 schedule can be found below:

The competition differs from last season’s AFC Champions League and AFC Cup, and is similar to UEFA’s three tier competition, with ACL Two representing a significantly more difficult path to the Final than its second-tier predecessor.

All clubs entering the Group Stage are guaranteed a minimum of USD $300,000 to cover costs, and additional prize money will follow based on wins and their eventual placings.


RankMember AssociationClub
1Saudi ArabiaAl Taawoun FC
2QatarAl Wakrah
3Islamic Republic of IranTBC
4United Arab EmiratesSharjah FC
5UzbekistanFC Nasaf
7JordanAl HusseinTBC
8TajikistanFC IstiklolFC Ravshan
9IndiaMohun Bagan Super GiantEast Bengal FC
10BahrainAl Khaldiya SCAl Ahli
11KuwaitKuwait SC
12TurkmenistanAltyn Asyr FC
Note: In addition to the above, two teams that are eliminated from the ACL Elite 2024/25 Preliminary Stage (West) will qualify directly for the ACL Two 2024/25 Group Stage (West).

Currently 27 teams from across 21 Member Associations (MAs) – 12 from the West and 15 from the East – are qualified to the Group Stage.

They will be joined by three (two West, one East) who will be eliminated from the Preliminary Stage of the AFC Champions League Elite™.
Four others compete in the ACL Two Preliminary Stage between July 31 and August 14 to fill the remaining two Group Stage berths in the West. India’s East Bengal FC will face Turkmenistan’s Altyn Asyr FC, while Bahrain’s Al Ahli battles Kuwait’s Kuwait SC.

Club’s competing in the AFC Challenge League will form tier three of the new format.