Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ACL & AFC Cup Matchday 2 - Preview

AFC Champions League - Group H
Kashiwa Reysol v Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
Guangzhou Evergrande v Buriram United

The opening games of this group saw Buriram United edge out Kashiwa Reysol 3-2 while in South Korea, the Chinese Super League champions, Guangzhou Evergrande, were running amok as they emphatically crushed Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 5-1. If Buriram United can come away from the Guangzhou Tianhe Sport Center undefeated, it would be regarded as one of the greatest results achieved by a Thai side in modern times. Guangzhou's South American attacking trio of Cleo, Muriqui and Dario Conca were buzzing in their opener against Jeonbuk and containing them is going to be an extremely onerous task for the Buriram rearguard. The Thunder Castle have leaked a couple of uncharacteristically soft goals this season and they'll need to improve if they plan to keep their Chinese opposition scoreless.
In the other match, Kashiwa Reysol and Jeonbuk both need to get points on the board after opening day defeats. A loss for either side would make qualification for the next round look highly unlikely.

AFC Cup  - Group G
Chonburi v Home United
Citizen AA v Yangon United

Chonburi welcome Home United of Singapore to the Chonburi Stadium.  The Protectors currently sit 4th in the S-League after their 2-1 victory at Hougang United last Thursday evening. Ex-Police United midfielder John Wilkinson makes a swift return to Thailand with Home United after he spent an unnoteworthy year in the TPL last season. The Sharks defence will have to keep an eye on 6ft 3in Frédéric Mendy and the Japanese striker, Shotaro Ihata. Mendy was the S-League's golden boot winner in 2010 while Ihata currently tops the 2012 charts with 6 goals in 5 league games. Nonetheless, Chonburi will be looking for 9 points from their three home games and failure to win this tie would be a disappointing outcome. This season has started brightly for Chonburi. They won the Kor Royal Cup last week beating Buriram United and in their TPL opener they easily dispatched Thai Port 4-0.
In Hong Kong, Citizen AA and Yangon United will both be seeking their first win in this group as they meet at the recently renovated Mongkok Stadium.

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