Asia AFC Champions League

Angels Stun Jeonbuk to Maintain Excellent ACL Start

True Bangkok United continued their excellent start to their AFC Champions League campaign by edging out South Korean giants Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 in an entertaining encounter at the Thammasat Stadium last Wednesday.

After just five minutes, 2-time ACL champions Jeonbuk had a chance to take the lead. Kim Jin-su’s long throw-in from the left bounced off Bangkok defender Everton’s head, but Ahn Hyun-beom, positioned at the back post, couldn’t find the target from a few yards out.

In the 16th minute, a fluid sequence of passes between Rungrath Phumichantuk, Thitiphan Puangchan, and Willen Mota created an opening for Mahmoud Eid to take a shot. However, the former Persebaya Surabaya man’s attempt with his left foot missed the mark.

Soon after, Rungrath’s long-range shot forced goalkeeper Jeong Min-ki to make a save.

The visitors then took the lead in the 19th minute. Han Kyo-won’s effective play on the right allowed him to reach the byline, and his cross was unfortunately redirected by Thossawat Limwanasathian into his own net.

Bangkok United regained momentum and managed to equalize in the 26th minute. Rungrath passed the ball to Willen at the edge of the area, received it back, and skillfully curved a shot from 20 yards into Jeong’s bottom right corner for a well-deserved equalizer.

The home team continued to press forward, and Willen was the next to challenge Jeong, with his 20-yard attempt being pushed wide by the Jeonbuk goalkeeper as the first half ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

After the break, Jeonbuk had the first chance of note. Jun Amano regained possession at the edge of the area and aimed a curling shot towards the goal, but goalkeeper Pathiwat Khammai made a save, pushing the ball out. Substitute Lee Dong-jun then blasted the rebound way over the target.

However, it was Bangkok United who took the lead in the 58th minute with the second own goal of the match. Thitiphan gained control in the attacking third, combined passes with Rungrath, and delivered a low cross from the right side of the penalty area. Unfortunately, Ahn inadvertently redirected the ball into his own net, effectively giving Totchawan Sripan’s Bangkok Angels the advantage.

Gustavo attempted a header from Kim’s corner, forcing Pathiwat into a save as the match entered its final 15 minutes, with Jeonbuk pressing for an equalizer.

Despite this, Bangkok United managed to net the fourth goal of the match in the 82nd minute. The ball fell favorably for Willen inside the penalty area, and the Brazilian unleashed an unstoppable shot from 15 yards that found the back of the net, further extending the Angels’ advantage.

Unwilling to lose out just yet, Jeonbuk continued to press forward. Gustavo attempted an overhead kick that forced Pathiwat into yet another save. Then, in the 88th minute, Moon expertly volleyed home Kim’s subsequent corner, setting up a tense finale for the home side, however the Angels managed to hang on and snag their second win from their two ACL matches.