China Thailand

AFC Champions League two-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande held by Buriram United

Two-time champions Guangzhou Evergrande were held by Thai club Buriram United in the penultimate round of 2018 AFC Champions League group stage.

It was Evergrande who took the lead in the 20th minute when Zheng Long fired from the edge of the box past a hapless Siwarak Tedsungnoen.

The visitors almost doubled the lead four minutes before halftime as Ricardo Goulart tried to fire a ferocious effort, but Buriram goalkeeper Siwarak pulled off a fine save.

Evergrande players also unleashed their overwhelmed attacking strength into Siwarak’s goal when they came out for the second half, but none of them was able to add to the scoresheet.

Just when it looked like Evergrande could seal a win, Yoo Jun Su hit a volley to make it 1-1 for Buriram in the 92nd minute.

Guangzhou remain top of the group with nine points, one above second-placed Cerezo Osaka and three ahead of Buriram, while the 2018 ACL campaign ended for bottom-placed Jeju United, who earned only three points in five games and were eliminated.

In the final game of the group stage, Buriram must win their away game against Jeju on April 17 and hope Cerezo cannot earn a victory over Guangzhou in China.

At the same time, a point would be enough to earn Evergrande a ticket to the Round of 16.