Yangon United got their 2014 AFC Cup campaign up and running in Group G on Wednesday after claiming a 5-3 win over Kelantan at the Thuwunna YTC Stadium.
Emerson Luiz Tito got the Myanmar outfit off to a dream start after eight minutes when he scored from a tight angle, before Kyaw Ko Ko doubled their tally three minutes after the half-hour mark with a clever lob over Khairul Fahmi.
Right before the break, Emerson made it 3-0 when he scored from close range after reacting quickest to a rebound, but the Malaysia Super League giants did manage to pull one back through a Wan Zaharulnizam strike in the 47th minute.
The hosts did restore their three-goal lead five minutes later when Ko Ko converted a right-wing cross, but the Red Warriors hit back again three minutes after the hour mark; this time through an effort from captain Badhri Radzi.
But any hopes the visitors had of mounting a fightback were effectively ended when they were reduced to ten men, after Ahmad Shakir Ali was handed his marching orders.
Ko Ko completed his hat-trick in the 89th minute to cap off an outstanding individual display, although Badhri managed to make the scoreline more respectable when he scored a second in injury-time.
Elsewhere in Group G, V.League 1 outfit XM The Vissai Ninh Binh also got off to a winning start after beating South China 3-1 at the Hong Kong Stadium.
Vissai broke the deadlock after 12 minutes thanks to a Kavin Bryan goal, before Dinh Van Ta made it 2-0 four minutes before the half-hour mark.
Five minutes after the break, the visitors made sure of the three points when Congolese striker Patiyo Tambwe added a third, although South China did manage a consolation when Chan Siu Ki netted six minutes later.
In Group H, S.League champions Tampines Rovers were handed a humiliating 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Hong Kong’s Kitchee.
Jordi Tarres netted twice in the final four minutes of the first half to give Kitchee a two-goal lead at the break, before Chan Man Fai finished from close range to make it 3-0 in the 47th minute.
Xu Deshuai then came off the bench and scored with a long-range effort to add a fourth nine minutes later, before Luis Belencoso completed the rout when he got on the scoresheet as well in injury-time.
Finally, Nay Pyi Taw came close to winning in their AFC Cup debut but conceded three minutes from time as fellow new boys Pune held them to a 2-2 draw at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.
The Indian side took the lead in the ninth minute through a strike from Riga Mustapha, but Zaw Lin equalised for the visitors eight minutes later.
Khaing Htoo then came off the bench to fire Nay Pyi Taw ahead in the 85th minute but just as though it looked like they were headed for the three points, Ivorian midfielder Pierre Douhou scored for Pune to force the draw.
Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results
Al Jaish 0-0 Fanja
Al Shorta 0-0 Al Qadsia
Al Hidd 3-1 Al Wahda
Alay Osh 0-0 Riffa
Shabab Al Ordon 1-3 Erbil
Yangon United 5-3 Kelantan
South China 1-3 XM The Vissai Ninh Binh
Tampines Rovers 0-5 Kitchee
Pune 2-2 Nay Pyi Taw