Buriram beat Bunyodkor in first leg

Buriram United edged Uzbekistan's Bunyodkor with a 2-1 home win in the first leg of their final-16 tie in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday night.

  • Published: 14/05/2013 at 08:34 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Anawin Jujeen, left, celebrates with teammate Adisak Kraisorn after scoring Buriram's opening goal against Bunyodkor at I-Mobile Stadium in Buri Ram province on Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of Buriram United)

Ekkachai Samre scored the winner in the 76th minute after Bunyodkor's Igor Taran had cancelled out Anawin Jujeen's opener. Bunyodkor, who have reached the semi-finals twice, had several chances in the opening 10 minutes at I-Mobile Stadium.

In the first appearance ever by a Thai team in the competition's knockout stage, Buriram soon found their rhythm and started piling the pressure on Bunyodkor.

Bunyodkor goalkeeper Murot Zukhurov was forced to make fine saves off defender Thanasak Srisai and forward Adisak Kraisorn.

The Thunder Castle opened the scoring after 17 minutes when Anawin beat Zukhurov. The home team came close to doubling their lead when Anawin's pass found Japan's Kai Hirano, whose close-range shot sailed over the bar.

As Buriram were heading for a 1-0 half-time lead, Bunyodkor silenced the home fans with an equaliser from Taran's superb volley.

Bunyodkor were again the better side in the opening stages of the second half but failed to go ahead.

After squandering several chances, the visitors were punished after 76 minutes when substitute Ekkachai headed the ball home from a free-kick.

The return leg is scheduled for May 21 in Tashkent.

The match was the first for Buriram's Scott Cooper in the Champions League, as he was appointed coach of the Thai FA Cup champions two weeks ago, succeeding Atthaphol Puspakom.

Atthapol was sacked by club chairman Newin Chidchob despite guiding the team to the knock-out stage of Asia's premier club competition.

The former Leicester City technical director enjoyed a positive start to his reign on Saturday, when Buriram beat Osotspa 4-1 to remain in second place in the Thai Premier League after SCG Muang Thong United, with one match in hand.

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Writer: Tor Chittinand
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