ACL heartbreak for Thai duo

ACL heartbreak for Thai duo

Ulsan's Choi Gi-Yun, No.29, celebrates after scoring against Port. ( photo)
Ulsan's Choi Gi-Yun, No.29, celebrates after scoring against Port. ( photo)

Thai League 1 leaders Buriram United failed to reach the group stage of the AFC Champions League after losing to Daegu on penalties in a play-off match in South Korea on Tuesday.

The South Korean side won 3-2 in the shoot-out following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

The Thunder Castle looked set to win after Jonathan Bolingi gave them the lead in the 120th minute but Cesinha made it 1-1 for the hosts moments later.

Daegu will join China's Shandong, Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds and Singapore's Lion City Sailors in Group F to be held at Buriram's Chang Arena.

In another play-off match in South Korea, two-time ACL winners Ulsan Hyundai beat Thai League 1 club Port 3-0.

Hong Myung-Bo's side went in front inside 20 minutes at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium through 19-year-old debutant Choi Gi-Yun and, after withstanding some Port pressure early in the second half, substitutes Um Won-Sang and Leonardo netted in the final 10 minutes to secure Ulsan's passage to the group stage.

The Horangi take their place in Group I alongside Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale, China's Guangzhou FC and hosts Johor Darul Ta'zim of Malaysia.

Ulsan went into the match looking to qualify for the ACL group stage for the 10th time while Port were aiming to progress to the tournament for the second successive year having debuted in 2021.

And it was the hosts who struck first via an unlikely source when Choi, making his first professional start for the Horangi, raced onto a ball through the middle and dinked a lovely finish over Port goalkeeper Worawut Srisupa in the 19th minute.

Port played much better in the second half and had several scoring chances. However, the Koreans finished off the Thais with goals from Um and Leonardo who netted from the spot in the 88th minute.

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