Asia AFC Champions League

Chanathip Bags Brace but BGPU Exit ACL with Frontale Loss

Chanathip Songkrasin returned to the Todoroki Stadium on Tuesday to haunt former club Kawasaki Frontale, however Messi Jay’s brace was not enough as his BG Pathum United side succumbed to a 4-2 loss, a result that confirmed their elimination from this season’s AFC Champions League.

Yasuto Wakizaka played a pivotal role in Frontale’s victory, initiating action against BGPU goalkeeper Kittipong Phuthawchuek within the first two minutes. The midfielder entered the Glass Rabbits’ penalty area and took a shot, signaling the home side’s early attacking intent.

Although Igor Sergeev’s attempt went wide across the Kawasaki goal shortly after, it was evident that Toru Oniki’s team was in control, particularly in the opposing half.

A delicately placed cross from Miki Yamane was headed down by Leandro Damiao, but Marcinho’s bicycle kick missed the target. Soon after, Kawasaki had an opportunity to take the lead.

Marcinho’s charge towards the top corner of the area was halted by Chanapach Buaphan’s clumsy challenge, and Wakizaka confidently converted the penalty in the 16th minute, sending the ball into the top corner beyond Kittipong’s reaches.

Kawasaki custodian Jung Sung-ryong ensured that his team maintained their lead by deflecting Freddy Alvarez’s long-distance effort over the bar in the 19th minute. Danilo Alves’ header in the 32nd minute was redirected wide, resulting in a BGPU corner.

Jung was at fault for the Thai side’s equalizer with 12 minutes remaining in the half. He passed the ball to former Kawasaki midfielder Chanathip, who capitalized on the opportunity, feinting twice before slotting his left-footed shot into the unguarded Kawasaki net.

The hosts regained their advantage five minutes before halftime when Wakizaka once again converted from the spot after Damiao was brought down by Wattanakorn Sawatlakhorn. However, Chanathip’s shot from 20 yards out was deflected in a minute later, leveling the score again.

Alvarez received a red card for stepping on Tatsuki Seko’s calf 11 minutes into the second half. While Chanapach cleared Damiao’s attempt off the line, the Japanese side took the lead once more when Kazuya Yamamura headed in Wakizaka’s corner as Kittipong struggled to control the ball.

In the eighth minute of injury time, Taisei Miyashiro slid in to score from an extremely tight angle, sealing the victory for Kawasaki.

The win meant that Kawasaki had won all four of their ACL group stage games so far, while BGPU were eliminated as the Glass Rabbits had lost all four of their group games.