Southeast Asia Thailand

BGPU Hammers United City as Youthful Shandong Frustrates LCS

BG Pathum United maintained shared control of Group G of the 2022 AFC Champions League after the Thai side had demolished Filipino outfit United City FC 5-0 at the BG Stadium on Thursday’s Matchweek 3 action. Four different scorers participated in the rout, with an own-goal completing the Golden Boys’ woes as they suffered their third consecutive defeat in this season’s ACL.

Having suffered two consecutive defeats and having failed to land a single goal in their current continental campaign, United City’s chances of salvaging their ACL outing were given a boost after BGPU head coach Makoto Teguramori rested a number of his key men, which includes Andres Tunez, Diogo, Sarach Yooyen, Ikhsan Fandi, and Victor Cardozo.

Despite this, the Glass Rabbits still fielded the likes of Teerasil Dangda, Irfan Fandi, Pathomphon Charoenrattanaphirom, and Chaowat Veerachat, and the United City defense had to work hard to ward off both veteran striker Teerasil and Pathomphon.

Whilst United City’s defense fared well against BGPU’s attack in the opening 20 minutes, the Golden Boys’ attack was unfortunately impotent, as the Filipinos could only muster two shots on target through Mike Ott and Kenshiro Daniels.

As United City prepared themselves to end the first half with a creditable goalless draw, Kanokpon Buspakom, son of legendary Police Tero, Buriram United, and Muangthong United manager Attaphol, managed to break the deadlock in the 42nd minute. The youngster managed to lap up a Teerasil pass before slotting home past United City goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus.

The second half saw all hell break loose for United City. A 75th minute error from Pinhtus allowed Worachit Kanitsribampen all the time and space to score BGPU’s second into an empty net before substitute Diogo made it 3-0 in the 80th minute.

Two minutes afterward, a Worachit corner was inadvertently deflected by United City’s South African defender Alan Robertson, before the Filipinos’ suffering was ended in the 87th minute after Pathomphon rifled in a shot into the right corner of Pinthus’ goal.

Group G’s other match saw Australia’s Melbourne City breathing down BGPU’s necks with a 2-1 win over South Korea’s Jeonnam Dragons. Japanese referee Yoshimi Yamashita made history during the match as the first woman to officiate an ACL game, with her assistants – fellow Japanese Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi – making up the first all-women officials team to have overseen an ACL game.

Meanwhile, at the Khao Kradong Stadium in Buriram, Lion City Sailors head coach Kim Do-hoon was left seething after his men failed to leave a dent in Chinese champions Shandong Taishan in their Group F match. Shandong, who sent their youth team to the ACL, suffered heavy losses prior to Thursday’s match, losing 7-0 to Daegu FC of South Korea and 5-0 to Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan. However, facing off against Singaporean champions LCS, Shandong showed enough grit to frustrate their big-spending opponents throughout the match’s 90 minutes.

Despite dominating proceedings, the likes of Hariss Harun, Pedro Henrique, Kim Shin-wook, and Diego Lopes were unable to break down a stubborn Shandong defense, and LCS were left bitterly disappointed at the end of the 0-0 draw, especially considering Daegu’s 1-0 win over Urawa at the Chang Arena had basically handed control of Group F to the South Koreans.

In Group I, Johor Darul Ta’zim continued their excellent continental outing by frustrating favorites Kawasaki Frontale at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, with the Southern Tigers playing out a goalless draw with the reigning J.League 1 champions, while at the Larkin Stadium, Ulsan Hyundai finally got themselves their first win of the campaign after beating Guangzhou FC 3-0.