Four goal triller inspires Guangzhou marching on in AFC Champions League
Updated: 2013-04-07 09:50
GUANGZHOU, China - With Dario Conca, Muriqui and Gao Lin's four goals in the second half, Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande harvested a 4-0 victory over Thai league champions Muangthong United, cementing their position at the top of group F in AFC Champions League Wednesday night.
Argentinean midfielder Conca scored twice, including an opening header at the beginning of the second half and a penalty in stoppage time. Muriqui and Gao Lin were also on the scoresheet as the Chinese Super League champions continued their unbeaten start.
"It was not an easy match for us as it looks, we met some obstacles in our attack," Guangzhou coach Marcello Lippi said after the match.
Sideback Zhang Linpeng saw his fourth minute header pass the keeper but off the goalline by Phichitphong Choeichiu. Weera Koedpudsa, the Thai keeper who had conceded four goals in Muangthong's last match against Urawa Reds two weeks ago, seemed as not so easily beaten this time in Guangzhou. Zhang and Lucas Barrios' two headers in 10 minutes were both denied by the keeper.
The away side hadn't grasped their chances as Sarawut Masuk twice missed clear shots which followed the half time whistle.
"We made some change in the second half, mainly on our attacking players, I told them to take good advantage of transverse space, we did it and scored," Lippi said.
As the 65-year old said, Conca finally found a way past the keeper only five minutes into the second half after Gao's pass found the free Argentinian, and his downward header eventually netted. Guangzhou didn't wait for a long time as Muriqui's calm finish gifted Guangzhou a two goal lead.
The home team were in cruise control, only to see Gao add another and Conca scored twice through a penalty in the last 10 minutes of the match.
"Guangzhou are the better side. We had chances in the first half which we missed. We made some mistakes in the second half. I do not agree with the referee in several cases, especial the penalty," Muangthong's coach Slavisa Jankovic said.
But Lippi didn't care, the four goal victory gifted the Chinese champions a comfortable place in the so-called "group of death". They are now two points clear ahead of Jeonbuk.
"We are at top, but the situation of this group will be changed very easily, we should focus on every match to qualify," the Italian said.