First-goal crucial concedes Calisto (24/05/2011)

Bangkok: Muang Thong coach Henrique Calisto felt Teerasil Dangda’s opening goal proved crucial as the Thai side advanced to the quarter-finals with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Al Ahed.

Following a goalless first-half played in atrocious conditions at Thunderdome Stadium, Teerasil broke the deadlock before further efforts from Naruphol Arromsawa, Christian Kouakou and Datsakorn Thonglao finally saw off the Lebanese challenge.

Teerasil opened the scoring when the ball fell for him in the box and he beat the tall Al Ahed keeper from close range to break the visitors’ resistance.

The onslaught continued as the Al Ahed defence became more ragged and shortly afterwards, Teerasil fed Naruphol and he smashed the ball into the back of the net to the right of the keeper.

Kouakou was then rewarded for his industry when he headed home the third and Muang Thong then added a fourth when Datsakorn was brought down by Hamzeh Salameh and he converted.

“For us, often the big problem is to score the first goal,“ said Calisto.

“After we score, we are more comfortable and relaxed, and play more smoothly, like Barcelona even, with give-and-go passing."

"Now it's after the game and we can say it was easy but it wasn't so easy because they played with five defenders.

"They held their defensive positions strongly in the first-half, during which we had many chances to score.

"It was also important for us to protect our goal, so the players were able to attack but also keep a balanced defense, which was good."

As for Muang Thong’s prospects in September‘s last eight clash, Calisto added, "I like playing away first and then deciding the result of the final with a home game.

"Next match we can play with one more foreigner, which will be good for us."

Al Ahed Coach Mahmoud Hammoud, meanwhile, took heart from a resolute defensive performance in the opening 45 minutes but admitted his side were eventually out-classed.

"In the first-half, we closed our defensive area well and played man to man with good success," he said.

"But in the second-half, they did as they wanted. We ran out of energy and they took control of the game.

"They had two dead balls and scored twice and our mistakes in defense also cost us two goals ."

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