Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Guangzhou Evergrande 4-0 Muangthong United

Guangzhou Evergrande were too good for Muangthong United as they ran out 4-0 winners.

It took only four minutes for Guangzhou to threaten the Muangthong goal. A Conca corner was bulleted goalwards by Kim Young Gwon but thankfully Phichitphong was standing by the post to clear the ball.

Teerasil wasn't selected after arriving late in China, and the lone striking role was given to Roland Linz. The Austrian was thwarted in the 13th minute when the Chinese goalkeeper, Zeng Cheng, just beat him to the ball after Artit had knocked the ball towards goal.

The pressure was mounting as the home side tried to penetrate the ultra defensive set up of Muangthong.

Muriqui and Dario Conca both had efforts that went narrowly wide before a Conca corner was glanced onto the bar by Barrios.

The home side were virtually camped inside the MTU half, and another Conca cross from the right found Gao Lin whose header was brilliantly saved by Weera.

The home side had dominated but they were given a sharp reminder to be aware of breakaways on 34 minutes when a a long ball from Djurovski found Linz. The target man rounded the floundering keeper, but Zhao Peng was on hand to block.

Two minutes later Muangthong had another chance to score. Djurovski played a great ball for Sarawut to burst through on goal. However, the former Chamchuri man's flicked shot was saved by Zeng Cheng.

On the stroke of half time, Jakkaphan cut inside from the left and unleashed a shot which Zeng Cheng palmed upwards before it bounced onto the top of the bar and out.

As the players trooped off the pitch at half time, you could tell that Slavisa Jokanovic was far happier than his counterpart Marcelo Lippi.

Whatever the Italian said at half time seemed to work as his side took the lead six minutes after the interval. Gao Lin sent a pinpoint cross over from the right for an unmarked Dario Conca to head home.

On 58 minutes it was game over as the Chinese champions doubled their lead. Muriqui played a swift one-two with Barrios before he calmly passed the ball past Weera into the net.

It was basically damage limitation for the Twin Qilans as Conca drilled a shot wide and Weera made a decent save from Gao Lin after a quick breakaway.

Nevertheless, Djurovski should have pulled a goal back for the Thai side in the 71st minute when he fired over an Artit pull back.

With seven minutes left Gao Lin finally got the goal his performance deserved when a tired Muangthong looking back line played him onside to convert Muriqui's pass.

Muangthong almost grabbed a consolation goal two minutes later after Teerasil looped a header onto the crossbar. The ball bounced back into play and was eventually blasted over by Sarawut.

As full time approached, Teerasil was penalised for grabbing hold of Zang Linpeng's shirt and a penalty was awarded. Conca stepped up, and the little Argentinian's left footed shot predictably found the bottom left hand corner.

That was it as the super rich Chinese side claimed a 4-0 win to stay top of Group F. The gulf in class was just too much for Muangthong, yet they can be proud of their efforts in the Tianhe Stadium.

The pair will meet again in six days at the Thunderdome.

Man of the Match: Dario Conca - Constant threat

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