Kirins earn point in ACL opener at Roar
SCG Muang Thong United got off to a good start to their AFC Champions League campaign with a scoreless draw at Brisbane Roar yesterday.
In the other Group E match, Japan's Kashima Antlers defeated Ulsan Hyundai from South Korea 2-0 with Mu Kanazaki (64) and Yuma Suzuki (82) on target for the hosts.
At Brisbane, the Thai League champions were fast off the blocks and came close to scoring in the opening stages.
Shortly after the kick-off, Muang Thong striker Teerasil Dangda seemed to have been fouled in the area by Brisbane defender Dane Ingham but the referee did not award a penalty.
In the 10th minute, Muang Thong forward Xisco Jimenez saw his shot saved by Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young.
With Chanathip Songkrasin and Lee Ho in midfield, the Kirins created several scoring chances but failed to break the deadlock.
However, the hosts gradually found their rhythm and forced Kirins goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan to make a couple of saves.
The Australians were the better side in the second half but had to settle for a draw.
Muang Thong will host Kashima Antlers next Tuesday when Hyundai Ulsan are at home to Brisbane Roar.
Meanwhile, Muang Thong midfielder Sarach Yooyen is likely to be out for the rest of the season due to an injury, club doctor Pornthep Mamanee said yesterday.
Sarach suffered a broken angle during Muang Thong's 1-0 win over Sukhothai in the Thai League 1 on Friday and underwent an operation on Monday.
"His injury is more serious than we thought,'' Dr Pornthep said.
"Sarach could be out for up to eight months."
It was initially believed that Sarach, 24, would be on the sidelines for four to six months.
Apart from broken bones, the Thailand international also has torn tendons, the doctor said.
"He is still young and will be able to return to playing football," he said.
The 2017 Thai League season started earlier this month and will end in October.
Female coach faces Scolari
Chan Yuen-ting, head coach of Hong Kong's Eastern Sports Club, will become the first woman ever to guide a men's team in a continental competition when they kick off their Asian Champions League campaign at Guangzhou Evergrande today, Reuters reported.
The 28-year-old Chan led Eastern to the Hong Kong Premier League title last year, and will now test her mettle against Guangzhou coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
"It's quite amazing, especially when you watch the games when he [Scolari] was coaching Brazil and they won the World Cup in 2002," she said.
"I never imagined or expected this could happen but now we're going to play against him so I feel excited and I'm looking forward to meeting him."