Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Buriram: Jirawat Makkharom scored twice as AFC Champions League debutants Buriram United stunned J.League supremos Kashiwa Reysol after the Thai treble winners posted a thrilling 3-2 win in Wednesday's Group H opener.
Jirawat's 10th minute opener and a superb strike from Uzbekistan midfielder Askar Jadigerov seven minutes before the break handed Attaphol Puspakom's side a dream start at Buriram Stadium.
Kashiwa hit back twice in a nine minutes either side of the hour mark with half-time substitute Ricardo Lobo setting up Junya Tanaka and Hiroki Sakai, only for Jirawat to net the dramatic winner with 13 minutes remaining as Buriram joined Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande, who beat K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 5-1, as opening day winners in Group H.
"We are happy to get the three points against such a strong team such as Kashiwa Reysol," said Attaphol.
"We were very fast in the first half and kept defending hard, but they were able to equalise in the second half.
"We lost our concentration when marking, but we were able to pull through and get the win.
"This will give us a lot of confidence in the upcoming matches, but the teams from China and Korea will be tough opponents and we will have to make sure we prepare so we are in the best possible condition."
Playing their first ever match in the Group Stage of the AFC Champions League, Buriram quickly got into the stride and offered the greater threat in the opening exchanges and the home side broke the deadlock in the tenth minute as Jirawat beat goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno at his near post.
Leandro Domingues twice went close for Kashiwa before the Brazilian midfielder was again involved just after the half-hour mark as his through ball sent Tanaka clear, but after cutting back inside, the striker dragged his shot wide from the edge of the area.
And Buriram took full advantage seven minutes later as Jadigerov found space on the edge of the Kashiwa area before coolly guiding a looping shot over Sugeno's despairing dive to double the home side's advantage in spectacular fashion.
An unmarked Tanaka was presented with a glorious chance to reduce the deficit just before half-time, but he could only direct a weak header straight at Sivaruk Tedsungnoen.
Tanka, though, was not to be denied 10 minutes into the second half as half-time substitute Lobo sent a low cross across the face of the Buriram goal, handing his strike partner a simple finish at the back post.
And Lobo again turned provider nine minutes later as the Brazilian surged down the right and delivered an inviting cross into the area for Japan Under-23 international Sakai to rise above the Buriram defence and send a powerful header into the bottom corner.
But with 13 minutes remaining, Jirawat emphatically drilled the ball high into the roof of the net from the edge of the six yard area.
"It was a challenging game for us as the fans gave Buriram their full support," said Kashiwa coach Nelsinho Baptista.
"At half-time we changed our strategy to a diamond formation and we succeeded in catching up, but it was not enough in the end."