By FOX Sports staff
The Thunder Castle looked headed for defeat in their opening Group E clash at the Yurtec Stadium Sendai after the hosts took a 52nd-minute lead through a Ryang Yong-gi penalty, which had been awarded after Osmar Barba was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area.
However, the Buriram centre-back made amends 14 minutes from time when he ventured forward to head home a corner from Anthony Ampaipitakwong, ensuring his side returned to Thailand with a valuable away point.
Speaking after the game, Attaphol admitted he thought his side were going to lose after they had fallen behind to their J.League opponents, and was pleasantly surprised with the way they clawed their way back into the tie.
"I'm very satisfied with the result as we played in Sendai and they have high quality players," he said on the AFC's official website. "When we gave away the goal via the penalty, I thought we failed though.
"At halftime I told our players to carry on doing what we were doing. We couldn't move around as much as we wanted in the first half but, as the game went on, we started moving better.
"So, I was confident that we would be alright in the second half."
The former Thailand international was also thankful the conditions in Sendai on Tuesday were not too harsh on his players.
"It was lucky for us as it wasn't as cold [as the day before]," Attaphol added.
"Things went better than I thought they might."
Although Sendai coach Makoto Teguramori was ultimately content with the draw, he admitted his players had more than their fair share of chances to win the game.
"It would have been better if we could have collected three points from our first ACL match but we still got one point, which I told my players to appreciate," he said.
"We scored first and had chances to score additional goals, but we couldn't make it. In football, if you don't take your chances you get punished."
Nonetheless, Teguramori was optimistic things would improve in the coming weeks.
"We have just started the season and in the ACL," he added. "I hope we can learn from this and use this experience in the coming matches to make ourselves more controllable on that and move forward.
"I am convinced our players are capable of doing that."
The Group E action resumes on March 12 with Buriram at home to FC Seoul, while Sendai travel to Nanjing to take on Jiangsu Sainty.