SCG Muangthong United are undefeated in the AFC Champions League after holding Ulsan Hyundai to a 0-0 draw in South Korea. With the win the Kirin hold on to second spot in Group E, and now will prepare for the return leg fixture next month.
Totchtawan Sripan was without Lee Ho in the starting line up, and tweaked the rotation into a strong defensive side, by having three centre backs, Adisorn, Celio Santos, and Naoaki Aoyama all start. Tristan Do, who was rested on the weekend, was back in the line up, and the goal scoring threats came from Teerasil, Chanathip, and Xisco. Lee Ho was to enter the match late, however, to add some needed power in the midfield.
Early in the match, however, the Kirin were dealt a blow when Theerathon was heavily fouled and was forced to exit the match, with Peerapat coming off the bench. Muangthong United fans will be worried over his fitness for the upcoming national team matches.
SCG Muangthong United were the better team for the first 15 minutes, but after the foul on Theerathon, which drew a yellow card, it was Ulsan who dominated the first half. The Kirin keeper, Kawin Thamsatchanan, made some key stops, and Peerapat likewise provided a key block to keep the score at 0-0 at the end of the first half.
The second half was a different story. While Ulsan held the ball for 70% of the first, the second was a more even game. The Kirin were to have some excellent scoring opportunities, such as a sublime through pass from Xisco Jiminez that gave Teerasil room for a good strike at the ball, only to have the Ulsan keeper tip it wide. Ulsan were to have chances as well, but suffered from an inability to finish.
Otherwise, the Muangthong defenders displayed tight marking, forcing their opponents into taking pot-shots from distance.
The away match scoreless draw is a major victory for the Kirin, bringing home another point, as they did against Brisbane Roar, who were defeated on the same night 3-0 by Japan's Kashima Antlers. This leaves SCG Muangthong United in second spot in the Group 'E' table. Ulsan Hyundai will play the reverse leg match in Thailand on April 12th, at the Kirin's home ground, SCG Stadium.
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