AFC roundup: Muang Thong out

SCG Muang Thong United were eliminated while Buriram United suffered a last-gasp setback in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night.

Vegalta Sendai Tamura Naoya, back, vies with Buriram United Anawin Jujeen, front, during their group E AFC Champions League football match in Buri Ram. The match ends with a 1-1 draw. (AFP Photo)

In Group F at Jeonju, South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors hammered the Thai Premier League champions Muang Thong 2-0.

The hosts finished off the Thai club in a three-minute spell in the second half with Lee Dong-Gook opening the scoring from a penalty kick after 57 minutes, and Park Hee-Do adding the other in the 59th.

In the other Group F game at Saitama, Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds edged China's Guangzhou Evergrande 3-2.

In Group E at Buri Ram, Japan's Vegalta Sendai stunned the home crowd when Takayuki Nakahara found the net in the dying moments to cancel out Osmar Ibanez's 53rd-minute strike in a 1-1 draw.

In the other Group E match, South Korea's FC Seoul won 2-0 at China's Jiangsu Sainty.

At Jeonju, Muang Thong, who lost 4-1 at home to Jeonbuk in their previous match two weeks ago, held the hosts to a scoreless draw in the first half.

But Panupong Wongsa's hand ball allowed Lee Dong-Gook to open the scoring from the spot for Jeonbuk in the 57th minute and Park Hee-Do made it 2-0 two minutes later.

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors forward Lee Dong-Gook, right, competes for the ball with SCG Muangthong United defender Piyaphon Buntao, left, during their preliminary Group F football match in Jeonju on Wednesday. Joenbuk wins 2-0. (AFP Photo)

Led by striker Teerasil Dangda and midfielder Datsakorn Thonglao, the Kirins tried hard to restore some pride but failed to get a consolation goal.

With one round of matches left, Marcello Lippi's Guangzhou have 10 points, Jeonbuk nine, Urawa four and Muang Thong one.

Muang Thong will next host Urawa Red Diamonds while Jeonbuk will travel to Guangzhou on May 1.

At I-Mobile Stadium, Buriram and Sendai played to a scoreless draw in a lively first half.

In the second half, the Thunder Castle went ahead when Ibanez's header seemed to deflect off his Japanese teammate Kai Hirano into the net.

As Buriram and their fans were preparting to celebrate, Nakahara Takayuki spoiled their party when he sent a loose ball into the net after a blunder by Buriram goalkeeper Sivarak Terdsungnern.

The group is still wide open with FC Seoul on 10 points, Sendai six, Buriram six and Jiangsu four.

In the final group games, Buriram go to FC Seoul and Vegalta host Jiangsu on May 1.

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Writer: Tor Chittinand
Position: Reporter