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BATTLE IN BRISBANE!!


SCG Muangthong United came away from Australia with the point after a 0-0 draw at Brisbane Roar in the opening match of GROUP-E AFC Champions League action.

Coach Totchtawan put forward the strongest line up available, with Xisco leading the attack, and Lee Ho taking on the midfield role that was Sarach Yooyen's until his ankle injury last week. Otherwise the team was the same squad that had brought two wins in league action to start the 2017 Thai League season.

After an initial slow start SCG Muangthong United began to dominate the half. Two excellent opportunities were created. Adisorn's driving header off a corner kick required sharp reflexes from Jamie Young, the Brisbane keeper, to knock the ball over the bar. Later in the first half Teerasil beat the left back to the ball and directed a pass towards the waiting Xisco, but a Brisbane defender was able to get a piece of it.

The Roar only managed the one shot on net in the half but it was a close-in drive from Brisbane striker Nicholas D'Agostino. Kawin stepped forward from the line to make the block, and the ball deflected to the post and then wide.

Brisbane Roar started the second half bringing in regular starters Joe Caletti and Thomas Broich. The result was the Roar were able to put better pressure on the Kirin back line. An early good chance for D'Agostino was denied only by a fine defensive effort from Adisorn.

Muangthong United responded with a chance for Xisco who was found by Peerapat at the six yard box, but the header lacked the power for the goal.

At 62 minutes Brisbane Roar's head Coach John Aloisi subbed in goal scoring threat Jamie Maclaren, the Australian national team player, and someone the Kirin will be familiar with from the FIFA 2018 qualifier match last November. Maclaren had a good opportunity shortly after, but his high angle shot was wide.

Shortly before, at the other end of the pitch, Teerasil Dangda had let fly a low shot that went off like a rocket, but was just wide of the left post.

Coach Totchtawan made his first substitution at '77 when Mongkol Thasakrai came in for Peerapat, and then by the 86th minute in came striker Adisak Kraison, his first appearance for the Kirin after a prolonged injury absence. A few moments later a good chance materialized when Adisak's pass was just past Teerasil who was in perfect position to score.

The Kirin were the better team, having the better share of possession, and twice the number of shots than Brisbane could manage. The result means Muangthong are well positioned for the home leg match, not scheduled until April.

Next Tuesday, however, Muangthong welcome the Kashima Antlers to town, perhaps the strongest team in Group E. Meanwhile, the Kirin will have their next Thai League match this Saturday, away to Police Tero.


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