Muangthong’s ACL dream ended by Kashiwa

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Muangthong United’s bid to qualify for the 2018 AFC Champions League ended on Tuesday when they were beaten 3-0 by Kashiwa Reysol.

Following a goalless first half at the Hitachi Kashiwa Soccer Stadium, Kashiwa broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when Junya Ito got in behind the opposition defence and squared the ball past goalkeeper Kampol Pathom-attakul to leave Cristiano with a simple tap-in.

Cristiano doubled the hosts’ advantage two minutes after the hour mark when he skipped past Wattana Playnum easily after being released by Ito’s slide-rule pass, before finishing into the bottom corner.

From then on, it was always going to take something special if Muangthong were to produce any sort of comeback.

But, just for good measure, Kashiwa added a third with a minute left on the clock when an unmarked Ito met a left-wing delivery and waltzed in to score and seal the victory.

The win sees Kashiwa advance into Group E of the Champions League, where they will now meet Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Kitchee and Tianjin Quanjian.

KASHIWA REYSOL: Kosuke Nakamura, Ryuta Koike, Shinnosuke Nakatani, Yuta Nakayama, Yun Suk-young (Masashi Kamekawa 90+1’), Hidekazu Otani (Kei Koizumi 77’), Kim Bo-kyung, Junya Ito, Ataru Esaka, Ramon Lopes (Yusuke Segawa 72’), Cristiano.

MUANGTHONG UNITED: Kampol Pathom-attakul, Tristan Do, Nukoolkit Krutyai, Adisorn Promrak, Celio Santos (Wattana Playnum 25’), Theerathon Bunmathan, Lee Ho, Sarach Yooyen, Charyl Chappuis (Jaja Coelho 64’), Teerasil Dangda, Heberty.