Al Qadsia draw Urawa Reds

Al Qadsia of Kuwait are braced for a quarter-final clash with defending champions Urawa Reds after Saturday's draw for the knockout stage of the AFC 2008 Champions League.

Defending J-League champions Kashima Antlers meet Adelaide United of Australia, 2006 runners-up Al Karama of Syria play Japan's Gamba Osaka, and Saipa of Iran take on Kuruvchi of Uzbekistan in other quarter-finals pairings.

"I admit that I do not know too much about Al Qadsia, but we will definitely do our research," Urawa Reds chief manager Morihiko Yamaji said after the draw. The J-League side's triumph over Sepahan in the 2007 finals gave them a free ticket to the knockout stage, which begins with the quarters in September.

"It is a slight disadvantage that Urawa hasn't played any group stage matches because last year we were able to build momentum towards the finals," said Yamaji. "But we will be well prepared for this match."

Al Qadsia, the 2006 semi-finalists, were philosophical about the draw, with official Abdullah Al Haqqan saying it was "fate" which had put them up against the front-runners. "We have changed our coach and it will be a fresh beginning for us in the quarter-finals," he said, adding that determination had propelled them to the last eight.

The semi-final matches will be played in October and the final in November.

In the AFC Cup which was also drawn Saturday, Malaysia's Perak meets with Safa of Lebanon, Armed Forces of Singapore takes on Oman's Al Nahda, Dempo of India plays Home United of Singapore, and Muharraq of Bahrain faces Malaysia's Kedah for the quarter-finals.