Buriram hold Chi­nese gi­ants

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS - TOR CHITTINAND

Buriram United cel­e­brated their re­turn to the AFC Cham­pi­ons League yes­ter­day with a 1-1 draw at Chi­nese Su­per League cham­pi­ons Guangzhou Ever­grande in their Group G opener.

The Thai League 1 cham­pi­ons were head­ing for a loss be­fore sec­ond-half sub­sti­tute Edgar can­celled out the ad­van­tage Guangzhou Ever­grande had gained through an early header by Brazil­ian Ri­cardo Goulart.

The Chi­nese Su­per League cham­pi­ons went on the at­tack from the start with Ri­cardo form­ing an ef­fec­tive part­ner­ship with Alan Car­valho in the of­fence but Buriram de­fend­ers held their ground.

Ri­cardo nar­rowly missed a header and a few mo­ments later the Brazil­ian found the net but only to see team­mate Gao Lin caught off­side.

The Thun­der Cas­tle were mainly pinned to their own half but Guangzhou fi­nally suc­ceeded in pierc­ing through their de­fence wall and a short Li Xuepeng cross was headed home by Ri­cardo in the 16th minute.

Af­ter con­ced­ing the goal, Buriram came out of their shell and started at­tack­ing with striker Diogo Luis Santo fir­ing a shot wide.

The hosts had an­other chance from Alan but his shot missed the tar­get be­fore Buriram goal­keeper Si­warak Ted­sung­noen de­nied him again in the 31st minute.

Dur­ing the last 10 min­utes of the first half, Buriram launched sev­eral at­tacks but could not find an equaliser as Guangzhou went into the break with 1-0 lead.

A few sec­onds into the sec­ond half, Buriram nearly equalised but Diogo’s chip missed the goal by a whisker fol­low­ing an as­sist by Edgar, who re­placed Su­pa­chok Sarachart af­ter half-time.

The Thun­der Cas­tle equalised when Kor­rakot Wiriya-udom­siri’s free-kick was tapped home by Edgar from close range in the 57th minute.

Guangzhou tried to pile the pres­sure on the Thai club and nearly scored their sec­ond goal but their cap­tain Gao’s shot was de­flected by a Buriram de­fender.

The Thai cham­pi­ons had their chance in the clos­ing stages as well when Diogo crossed the ball, but Sasalak Haiprakhon’s header hit the post. Sasalak re­placed Jakkraphan Kaew­prom in the sec­ond half.

AFP

Guangzhou Ever­grande’s Ri­cardo Goulart, right, vies with Buriram’s Pansa Hemvi­boon.

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