Korrakot goal takes Buriram into knockout phase
A second-half goal from Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri put Thai champions Buriram United through to the last 16 of the AFC Champions League as the Thai champions took second spot in Group G with a 1-0 win at Jeju United yesterday.
In the other Group G game, China’s Guangzhou Evergrande beat Japan’s Cerezo Osaka 3-1.
Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou finished the group stage with 12 points, Buriram nine, Cerezo eight and Jeju three.
Buriram have advanced to the knockout stage of the continental club championship for the first time since 2013.
The Thunder Castle will meet South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai or Tianjin Quanjian of China in the last 16 round.
At Jeju, Buriram’s Supachai Jaided had the first good effort when he forced goalkeeper Kim Kyeong-Min to push wide a powerful angled shot in the 13th minute.
Buriram came close to scoring again in the 30th minute when Jakkaphan Pornsai crashed in a shot that beat the goalkeeper but was headed off the line by Cho Yong-Hyung.
The Thai champions were first to threaten in the second half when Jakkaphan’s free-kick from the left found Diogo Luis Santo and the Brazilian’s header was well saved by Kim.
Buriram took the lead in the 55th minute when Diogo found Sasalak Haiprakhon with a neat back heel on the right.
Sasalak turned inside his man and found Korakkot unmarked at the back post. The left-back had to just tap the ball into an empty net.
The visitors had an excellent chance to add a second when Supachok Sarachat ran through the home team’s defence and cut the ball back to Diogo, whose low shot was saved.
The Thai side were almost made to regret that miss when Kim Do-Yeop’s free-kick from 25 yards struck the top of the bar.
Buriram then held on to book a ticket to the knockout stage.
In Group H, Dejan Damjanovic’s firsthalf goal put Suwon Samsung Bluewings into the last 16 with a 1-0 win at Kashima Antlers, who had already qualified.
The win meant the South Korean side qualified for the knockout phase as winners of Group H with the Japanese club in second.
Australia’s Sydney FC missed out in third place after they could only draw 0-0 with bottom side Shanghai Shenhua of China.
Buriram’s Diogo Luis Santo, left, in action against Jeju United in the AFC Champions League in South Korea yesterday.