Kawasaki sink Muangthong in first leg

Kawasaki Frontale earned a huge first leg lead following their 3-1 win over Muangthong United in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

The Japanese club came from a goal down to score three unanswered goals in the second half and give themselves a commanding lead going into the second leg.

The first half started as a cagey affair at the SCG Stadium in Nonthaburi, as both teams valued possession over attack.

After failing to create many clear cut chances, it was Thai star Teerasil Dangda who sent the home crowd into raptures as he scored the opening goal in the dying embers of the opening half. Dangda found himself in space in the box and turned and fired to find the bottom right hand corner.

The strike seemed to spur Kawasaki into life, as they returned in the second half with a new found vigor. Their attacking ways would pay off in the 66th minute, when defender Shintaro Kurumaya put Kengo Nakamura in space and he found the equaliser.

The visitors struck again just three minutes later, firmly taking charge of the fixture. This time around, a superb ball from midfielder Akihiro Ienaga found substitute Yu Kobayashi, who gave Kawasaki the lead with a powerful volley.

While Celio Santos would miss a great opportunity in front of goal minutes later for Muangthong, the momentum was clearly with the Kawasaki as they pressed forward in the latter stages, eventually scoring a third.

Kobayashi turned from scorer to provider as he set up Hiroyuki Abe to put the cherry on top of a great performance away from home from Kawasaki.

The Japanese outfit host the second leg at the Todoroki Athletics Stadium on Kawasaki on 30 May.