Southeast Asia Vietnam

Ulsan Notch Historic 12th Consecutive Win as Glass Rabbits Extinguish Red Tornado

Defending AFC Champions League champions Ulsan Hyundai notched history on Friday as they saw off Kaya FC-Iloilo 3-0 at the Leo Stadium. The South Koreans’ win over the Filipinos was their 12th consecutive win in the ACL, a run that started in Matchweek 2 of last year’s competition. The win allowed Ulsan to take full charge of Group F, although they must remain wary of hosts BG Pathum United who are tailing closely behind in 2nd place thanks to their straightforward 2-0 win over Viettel FC.

Kaya FC-Iloilo (Philippines) 0-3 Ulsan Hyundai (South Korea)

After consecutive heavy losses to both BGPU and Viettel, one might be forgiven that Ulsan would give Kaya yet another thrashing, especially considering that East Asian sides have a knack of dismantling their Southeast Asian opponents to pieces in recent ACL matches.

However, the Visayans made good account of themselves at the Leo Stadium on Friday, with Daizo Horikoshi coming close after just one minute before frustrating Ulsan in the opening stages of the match.

Despite this good early showing, Kaya were undone as early as the 12th minute, after Valeri Qazaishvili managed to dance his way into the Visayans’ defense before passing the ball short towards an unmarked Oh Se-hun, who drove in the opener past Louie Casas.

The Horang-i took charge of proceedings after claiming the lead and they made it 2-0 in the 40th minute. A Marwin Angeles foul on Kim Ji-hyun led to an expertly-taken free-kick by Hong Chul, with the ball being deflected into Casas’ goal by Se-hun’s shoulder.

Ulsan then stamped their authority further in the 48th minute. Marwin managed to wrestle the ball off Ji-hyun however the loose ball was picked up by Valeri, with the Georgian hammering in Ulsan’s third past Casas.

Kenshiro Daniels almost pulled one back for Kaya in the 54th minute after receiving an excellent ball from Jovin Bedic, however the American-born Filipino’s effort was thwarted by Ulsan goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo.

Ulsan came close to adding more to their tally twice however they were unable to make their chances count. The defending champs did walk away with their 12th consecutive victory though and they will be more than happy to make it 13 on a bounce as they take on Kaya again on July 5th.

BG Pathum United (Thailand) 2-0 Viettel FC (Vietnam)

The footballing rivalry between Thailand and Vietnam resumes once again on Friday’s late kick-off as the champions of respective countries came head-to-head at the Leo Stadium pitch.

In a cagey encounter between the two ACL debutants, Yordrak Namuangrak managed to fire wide after being fed the ball by Sumanya Purisai, before Nguyen Trong Dai went off-target with his long-ranged effort.

A mistake from Bui Duy Thuong in the 13th minute led to the ball being deflected by Diogo onto the path of Thitiphan Puangchan, with the midfield dynamo easily finishing things off from close range to make it 1-0 BGPU.

Diogo and Thitiphan once again combined magnificently in the 25th minute, with the Brazilian setting up his unmarked teammate, however much to the relief of Viettel goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh, Thitiphan’s effort went over the crossbar.

A brilliant Diogo was thwarted by Nguyen Manh in the 32nd minute, before Viettel proceeded to push themselves forward in search of an equalizer. Unfortunately for the Red Tornado, Chatchai Budprom in the BGPU goal was ready at all times and he kept the Glass Rabbits’ last line of defense safe.

In an attempt to chase the game, Viettel head coach Hans-Jurgen Gede introduced last year’s V.League 1 top scorer Pedro Paulo, with the Brazilian replacing Duy Thuong. However, try as they might, the Red Tornado had no ideas on how to break their way into the Glass Rabbits.

BGPU then confirmed their ownership of the three points in the 84th minute, as substitute Chaowat Veerachat slotted home past Nguyen Manh only seconds after coming on.

The two sides will meet again on July 5th, with BGPU hoping for another win to keep themselves within touching distance with Group F leaders Ulsan.