Buriram handed first defeat by Jiangsu

Buriram United were handed their first defeat in the 2013 AFC Champions League after losing 2-0 to Group E opponents Jiangsu Sainty on Tuesday.

Carmelo tries to create an opening...
Gabriel Tan

By Gabriel Tan

In an evenly-matched opening 45 at the Olympic Sports Center, Thai Premier League giants Buriram looked to have done enough to go in level at the break but were left stunned as their Chinese hosts netted a quick-fire double through Lu Bofei and Sun Ke.

Jiangsu continued to dominate proceedings in the second half but were just unable to find a third goal, although they had done enough by then to pick up all three points and rise to second in the group.

In what ultimately turned out to be an open, entertaining encounter, both sides showed good initiative early on but the first real chance only arrived in the 24th minute when Sun took the ball past Theerathon Bunmathan with his first touch to create space for himself inside the area, only to stab his shot too close to Sivaruck Tedsungnoen.

Three minutes after the half-hour mark, Buriram had a terrific chance to open the scoring when a long clearance by Kai Hirano caught out the opposition defence and sent Ramses Bustos racing through on goal, but the Chilean could only fire a left-footed effort straight at Deng Xiaofei.

Six minutes later, the visitors came close again when another over-the-top ball caught Ren Hang napping at the back post and allowed Kai Hirano to sneak in behind him, but just as the Japanese looked set to fire a shot away, the Jiangsu left-back recovered well to make the tackle.

And his intervention proved vital three minutes before the break when his side took the lead after Ji Xiang's ferocious strike was parried by Sivaruck but fell to the waiting Lu, who sent the ball back into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

A minute later, Jiangsu doubled their lead when Ji once again found space down the left and floated in a pinpoint cross to pick out the late run of Sun Ke, whose firm downward header was too powerful for Sivaruck to keep out.

With a comfortable lead to sit back on, the Chinese Super League side were meant then happy to sit back and invite their opponents forward following halftime, but Buriram struggled to carve out any real openings.

Nine minutes after the hour mark, Carmelo Gonzalez went down inside the area after being on the receiving end of a firm challenge, but referee Ali Hamad Albadwawi was unimpressed by his appeal.

Eight minutes later, Jiangsu had an excellent chance to wrap up the three points when Ren met a freekick at the far post and sent a lovely header back across the face of goal, but none of his team-mates were on hand to tap home from two yards out.

With fulltime fast approaching, it was beginning to look increasingly likely that Buriram would fall to their first defeat of the campaign.

And any hopes of a late comeback were ended a minute from time when substitute Anawin Jujeen received his marching orders for a second bookable offence, compounding a miserable day at the office for the Thunder Castle.

Jiangu Sainty: Deng Xiaofei, Zhou Yun, Kamoliddin Tajiev, Eleison, Ren Hang, Jiang Jiajun, Wu Xi (Liu Jianye 60'), Sun Ke, Lu Bofei (Ai Zhibo 90'), Ji Xiang, Aleksandar Jevtic (Hamdi Salihi 72').

Buriram United: Sivaruck Tedsungnoen, Suree Sukha (Dennis Buschening 66'), Prathum Chuthong, Osmar Barba, Theerathon Bunmathan, Surat Sukha, Charyl Chappuis (Anawin Jujeen 39'), Carmelo Gonzalez, Jirawat Makarom, Kai Hirano, Ramses Bustos (Ekkachai Sumrei 87').

Image courtesy of Buriram United FC

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