Group H: Gamba Osaka, Chiangrai United settle for AFC Champions League stalemate again
Tashkent: History repeated itself as Gamba Osaka and Chiangrai United played a second 1-1 draw in the space of four days in their 2021 AFC Champions League clash at Lokomotiv Stadium on Sunday.
An early strike from Felipe Amorim had the Thai side in the lead at half-time, but a well-held Gamba were given a lifeline when Chiangrai’s Brinner turned the ball into his own net in the 54th minute before a frantic finish failed to produce a winner.
The result keeps the Group H equation wide open, with Gamba retaining second place with a total of six points – four less than leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors – while Chiangrai’s tally of five keeps them in contention with two games to play.
We have to hope for a miracle, admits Gamba Osaka’s Matsunami after AFC Champions League deadlock with Chiangrai
Tashkent: Gamba Osaka head coach Masanobu Matsunami pulled no punches in assessing his side’s 2021 AFC Champions League knockout stage chances, admitting the J1 League runners-up will need a miracle to advance following Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Chiangrai United.
Labelled a must-win match by Matsunami prior to kick-off, Gamba dropped points against the Thai side for the second time in four days, with Felipe Amorim’s sixth-minute goal putting the Japanese outfit on the back foot from the outset.
An own goal from Chiangrai defender Brinner just after half-time meant Gamba escaped without defeat, but the result leaves them four points adrift of group leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors with two games remaining.
Tampines Rovers’ Nawas rues misfortune in AFC Champions League defeat to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Kim explains team selections
Tashkent: Tampines Rovers coach Akbar Nawas rued his side’s misfortune as his 10 men fell to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors despite putting in a spirited performance at Bunyodkor Stadium on Sunday.
The Singaporean side defended resolutely, limiting their opponents to chances few and far between in the opening half of 2021 AFC Champions League Group H tie and were even inches away from opening the scoring as goalkeeper Hwang Byeong-geun was forced into a fine save to deny Armin Bosnjak before the half-hour mark.
A Stanislav Iljutcenko header late in the first half was the difference until an hour into the game when things started to unravel quickly with Yasir Hanapi receiving two yellow cards in quick succession to leave his side a man short. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors took advantage and added three more goals in the space of 11 minutes.
Siripong: Ratchaburi showed true quality in AFC Champions League draw with Pohang Steelers
Bangkok: Ratchaburi FC's Sek-san Siripong lauded his charges for showing maturity in their 0-0 draw against Korea Republic’s Pohang Steelers on Sunday.
Ratchaburi, playing in the AFC Champions League for the first time, held their own for 90 minutes in the Group G tie at the Rajamangala Stadium to walk away with a point and, in the process, deal a blow to Pohang's hopes of advancing to the Round of 16.
Fatigue almost cost us AFC Champions League triumph over Johor Darul Ta’zim, admits Nagoya Grampus’ Ficcadenti
Bangkok: Massimo Ficcadenti was relieved that Nagoya Grampus held on to claim their fifth victory in a row following the 2-1 defeat of Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim in Group G of the 2021 AFC Champions League on Sunday.
The victory sealed Nagoya’s progress into the Round of 16 with one match to spare as the Japanese side have 15 points, while second-placed Pohang Steelers of Korea Republic have 10 after being held 0-0 by Thailand’s Ratchaburi FC in Sunday’s earlier match.
Preview - Group F: BG Pathum United's Vidmar expects another AFC Champions League victory against Viettel FC
Bangkok: BG Pathum United head coach Aurelio Vidmar is confident his side can repeat their previous result when they face Viettel FC in their 2021 AFC Champions League Group F rematch on Monday.
BG Pathum United overtook Viettel into second place after beating the V.League club 2-0 two days ago to sit three points behind defending champions Ulsan Hyundai FC and three ahead of Monday's opposition.
Vidmar, while happy to be back on the winning trail, is nonetheless cautious of what the Vietnamese champions could potentially throw at them at the Pathum Thani Stadium on Monday.
Preview - Group I: Beijing’s youngsters eager to make the most of AFC Champions League opportunity against Daegu FC
Tashkent: Successive heavy defeats have severely dented their chances of advancing, but there is plenty still up for grabs in Beijing FC’s AFC Champions League campaign, according to coach Zoran Jankovic.
If a 7-0 loss against Kawasaki Frontale exposed the gulf between this inexperienced Beijing side and Asia’s top outfits, the 5-0 defeat to Daegu three days later served as a reminder of the focus needed at all times at this level.
Jankovic knows earning points against teams of that calibre may be a bridge too far for a side learning the ropes in senior football, but – ahead of their return fixture against Daegu on Monday – he believes his charges are good enough to improve in their remaining three matches.