Krung Thai Bank crushed; Chonburi draw (March 13, 2008)


J-League champions Kashima Antlers humiliated Thailand League runner-ups Krung Thai Bank 9-1 in their AFC Champions League opener at Chulalongkorn stadium yesterday. But Thailand League champions Chonburi saved the face of Thai football when they secured a 1-1 draw at Japanese FA Cup winners Gamba Osaka.

In Group F, the Antlers finished off the home side with a hat-trick by Brazilain Marquinhos, two apiece from Yuzu Tashiro and Takuya Nozawa and one each from Daiki Iwamasa and Ryuta Sasaki. Krung Thai pulled one back from Ivory Coast's Kone Kassim.

Krung Thai Bank got off to a lively start and had a couple of scoring chances in the opening stages.

However, it was the Antlers who drew first blood after 15 minutes when Tashiro fired home after Krung Thai players stopped playing as they thought Tashiro was off-side.

Iwamasa added a second for the visitors after 20 minutes and Nazawa gave the Japanese a comfortable 3-0 lead after 34 minutes.

It was Marquinhos show in the second half as the Brazilian striker found the net in the 46th, 68th and 71st minutes. Kassim got a consolation for Krung Thai in the 63rd minute.

Krung Thai coach Attaphol Puspakom said he had aimed for three points but his defenders, particularly the full-backs, let him down as they allowed the visitors to score almost at will.

''It is now difficult for us to qualify for the next round,'' he said. ''The heavy defeat could affect our form in the Thailand League. Our defenders and goal-keeper are losing confidence.''

Despite the comfortable win, Antlers coach Oswaldo de Oliveira still compained about the afternoon kick-off and the artificial turf at Chulalongkorn stadium.

In the other Group F match, Vietnam's Nam Dinh lost 3-1 to Chinese side Beijing Guoan.

In Group G, Arthit Suntornphit looked to have given Chonburi all three points when he slotted home from close range in the 58th minute after an impressive run by Brazilian striker Ney Fabiano had torn the home defence apart.

Brazilian striker Lucas scored a last-gasp equaliser for the home side as Gamba eked out a 1-1 draw with the Sharks.

In the other Group G game, Melbourne Victory of Australia beat South Korea's Chunnam Dragons 2-0.

Two teams from each group progress to the knock-out phrase.