Buriram United remain in the hunt to qualify for the AFC Champions League Round of 16 after a 1-0 win over Group E opponents Shandong Luneng Taishan on Wednesday.
The only goal of the game came in the 35th minute when Kai Hirano found the back of the net to hand the Thai Premier League champions their first win of the campaign.
However, the Thunder Castle still have plenty of work to do as they have to claim all three points next week in their daunting trip to Pohang Steelers to have any chance of advancing to the knockout round.
Should they achieve that, they will need Shandong and Cerezo Osaka to draw in the other, or for the former to win in order for them to progress on a better head-to-head record.
Buriram United: Sivaruck Tedsungnoen, Theerathon Bunmathan, Pratum Chuthong (Suree Sukha 32’), David Calvo, Tanasak Srisai, Suchao Nutnum, Jakkaphan Kaewprom, Jirawat Makarom (Charryl Chappuis), Anawin Jujeen (Chitipat Tanklang 61’), Kai Hirano, Jay Simpson.
Shandong Luneng Taishan: Wang Dalei, Du Wei, Ryan McGowan, Zhao Mingjian, Wang Tong (Hao Junmin 46’), Zhang Wenzhao, Zheng Zheng, Liu Bin Bin (Wu Xinghan 84’), Walter Montillo, Santos, Jin Jingdao (Han Peng 69’).