Perth Glory make long-awaited return to Asian Champions League action in Qatar against Shanghai Shenhua

After a long hiatus, the Australian club return to the continental stage, keen to make an impression after a first up defeat

Perth Glory will return to Asian Champions League action nearly nine months after their campaign was halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The A-League side will take on Chinese giants Shanghai Shenhua in Qatar on Wednesday evening (AEDT) – where a hub has been organised by the AFC for the competition to be completed over the next month.

Glory will be hoping for a better result than in their debut match in the tournament, where they were beaten 1-0 by FC Tokyo back in February shortly before the competition was stopped because of coronavirus.

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When the Australian first division returned in July, a Glory side – minus superstar Diego Castro – performed inconsistently but still managed to qualify for the finals and won their elimination match 1-0 against Wellington Phoenix.

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Tony Popovic’s Glory were unfortunately bundled out 2-0 by eventual champions Sydney FC at the semi-final stage, with their Australian coach deciding to leave the club in the aftermath to join Greek side Xanthi.

Now with former Socceroo Richard Garcia in charge, Glory – armed with Castro back in the team – are ready to make an impression on the continental stage.

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“It’s good to have Diego back, to be honest it’s good to have all the players back,” Garcia told FTBL.

“The experienced guys as well like Neil Kilkenny, Liam Reddy and also great to have Bruno back on board and the addition of Andy Keogh as well.

“We’ve got a good bunch of experienced guys who are there to be able to help facilitate the younger guys ad help them evolve.

“It’s important that we treat every situation on its merits. Look, I think Diego has come back into the club and been very positive, been a great leader amongst the group, especially amongst the young guys.

“His attitude and application have been top class.”

Perth’s opponents Shanghai Shenhua finished seventh in the Chinese Super League and feature the likes of Stephen El Shaarawy and Giovanni Moreno in their squad.

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