Buriram snatch point against Evergrande in ACL opener

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Buriram United produced a gutsy display to hold Guangzhou Evergrande to a 1-1 draw at the Tianhe Stadium in their opening AFC Champions League Group G clash on Wednesday.

In a match that was largely dominated by the Chinese Super League champions from start to finish, it was Ricardo Goulart who put them ahead in the 16th minute when he was left unmarked inside the box to head home Li Xuepeng’s inch-perfect cross.

Evergrande continued to create the majority of chances as the game but were wasteful in the final third, while Buriram goalkeeper Siwarak Tedsungnoen also came to his side’s rescue on several occasions.

There was also the matter of Evergrande twice having legitimate penalty appeals turned down by the referee, while an earlier goal by Goulart had been incorrectly chalked off for offside.

Then, three minutes before the hour mark, the Thai visitors equalised against the run of play as a Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri freekick was spilled by Liu Dianzuo, paving the way for Edgar Silva to bundle home on the rebound.

Buriram actually had a chance to seal a stunning upset with nine minutes remaining when Sasalak Haiprakhon was picked out by Diogo inside the box, but he could only look on in agony with his header coming off the woodwork as both sides were left to settle for a share of the spoils.

Buriram are back in action next Wednesday when they host Jeju United, while Evergrande visit the Yanmar Stadium Nagai to take on Cerezo Osaka.

GUANGZHOU EVERGRANDE: Liu Dianzuo, Zhang Linpeng, Kim Young-gwon, Feng Xiaoting, Li Xuepeng, Liao Lisheng (Wang Shangyuan 87’), Huang Bowen, Gao Lin, Ricardo Goulart, Yu Hanchao (Zheng Long 70’), Alan Carvalho (Yang Liyu 80’).

BURIRAM UNITED: Siwarak Tedsungnoen, Pansa Hemviboon, Andres Tunez, Pravinwat Boonyong, Narubadin Weerawatnodom, Jakkaphan Kaewprom (Sasalak Haiprakhon 80’), Ratthanakorn Maikami, Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri, Supachok Sarachat (Edgar Silva 46’), Yoo Jun-soo (Supachai Jaided 70’), Diogo.