Buriram surprise Jeonbuk in Asian Championship
published : 9 May 2018 at 00:34
writer: Tor Chittinand
Thai League 1 champions Buriram United secured one of their most impressive wins Tuesday when they beat South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 in the last-16 first leg of the AFC Champions League.
It was the first time a Thai side has beaten the Korean giants in the continental club championship.
Buriram's goals came from Brazilians forwards Edgar Bruno, who netted twice after six and 69 minutes, and Diogo Luis Santo on the hour mark.
Son Jun-Ho's last-gasp strike, after Ricardo Lopes' 50th minute goal, gave the two-time ACL champions hopes in the return leg.
At Chang Arena, Edgar put the home side ahead after just six minutes when he got on the end of Korean midfielder Yoo Jun-Soo's cross to head the ball back across goal and out of the reach of Jeonbuk goalkeeper Song Beom-Keun.
One of Jeonbuk's own Brazilians, Adriano, had a chance to draw the visitors level after 17 minutes but his header lacked any power and was easily saved by Sivarak Tedsungnoen.
In the first minute of the second half, Kim Shin-Wook had a header saved off the line by Sivarak as Choi Kang-Hee's side turned up the heat in search of an equaliser, and it would come just five minutes later.
Kim was involved in the lead-up play, chesting a long-ball down on the edge of his area for Ricardo to run onto, with the Brazilian driving into the area and shooting past a helpless Sivarak.
Buriram didn't let the setback slow them down as they continued to push forward and restored the lead in the 60th minute when Diogo produced a piece of magic from a free-kick.
The Thunder Castle erupted just less than 10 minutes later when a lung-bursting run from Edgar produced one of the best goals of the campaign as he weaved his way past the Jeonbuk defence to put his side 3-1 up.
Diogo almost had a brace of his own, but his volleyed effort was well saved by Song on 80 minutes.
Son's 91st minute effort ensured the Koreans return home for the second leg with two away goals to their name.
The tie is now finely balanced as the two teams prepare for next week's second leg in Korea.
Guangzhou Evergrande were held to a goalless draw by fellow Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian.
Tianjin squandered several opportunities to take an advantage into the second leg against two-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande as Alexandre Pato and Anthony Modeste were denied by Evergrande goalkeeper Zeng Cheng.
"We created a lot of chances and led on every statistic but unfortunately we didn't score," Evergrande head coach Fabio Cannavaro said.
"Our opponents had a few opportunities and their most skilful players, like Modeste and Pato, had some decent efforts but our goalkeeper performed very well and saved them all."
In the west Asian half of the draw, Boualem Khoukhi scored twice in the opening 28 minutes as Qatar's Al Sadd handed Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia a 2-1 defeat in the first leg in Doha.
Mohanad Aseri's goal two minutes into the second half ensured the Jeddah-based Al Ahli remain in contention for a place in the quarter-final draw.
Al Jazeera of the United Arab Emirates will take a 3-2 lead into the second leg of their meeting with last year's semi-finalists Persepolis of Iran.
Ali Alipour put the Iranians in front with a header before goals from Ali Mabkhout and Romarinho took Al Jazeera ahead, only for Godwin Mensha's re-taken penalty six minutes from time to level the scores.
Khalifa Al Hammadi's deft header of Mbark Boussoufa's free kick six minutes into stoppage-time means Al Jazeera will take a one-goal lead into the second leg in Tehran next week