Persib stay top in AFC Cup; Global claim first-ever triumph

Persib Bandung remain top of Group H in the AFC Cup despite playing out a 0-0 draw with Lao Toyota at the New Laos National Stadium on Wednesday.

Despite entering the clash as favourites to claim the win, the Indonesian Super League giants were unable to find a way past their stubborn opponents, who showed great resilience throughout the 90 minutes.

Nonetheless, the result keeps Persib unbeaten in the campaign with a two-point lead at the top, and they remain on course for a place in the Round of 16.

Meanwhile, Ayeyawady United were unable to fully capitalise on Persib’s slip-up as they were also held to a 0-0 draw by New Radiant at the Thuwunna Stadium to remain in second place.

Over in Group G, it was a monumental day for Philippine outfit Global as they beat nine-man Yadanarbon 4-1 to claim their maiden win in the tournament, in what was also the first match to be played at the new Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue.

Mark Hartmann got them on their way with a 16th-minute penalty after Renato Gonzalez’s freekick had been handled inside the box, although Yan Paing equalised for the visitors four minutes later.

However, the hosts reclaimed the lead through another Hartmann strike six minutes before halftime, before Misagh Bahadoran made it 3-1 in the 58th minute with a fine individual effort.

Things then got from bad to worse for the Myanmar National League outfit when Zaw Linn Tun was shown a straight red in the 70th minute, although Hartmann spurned an excellent chance to complete his hat-trick shortly after when his penalty was saved by Thiha Sithu.

But any hopes the visitors had of a comeback were ended in the 76th minute when they also had Tin Win Aung sent off for a second bookable offence, and Global went on to complete the rout six minutes from time when Gonzalez added a fourth from a freekick.

The result also means Global are back in the hunt for a place in the knockout round, after second-placed Pahang were beaten 3-1 by table-topping South China at the Mong Kok Stadium.

After Philip Chan had fired the hosts ahead in the 11th minute, Lo Kong Wai found the back of the net seven minutes into the second half to put them firmly in control of proceedings.

Jack Sealy then struck four minutes later to effectively put the result beyond doubt, although the Malaysian visitors did grab a consolation in the 62nd minute through a Dickson Nwakaeme strike.

Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group G

South China 3-1 Pahang

Global 4-1 Yadanarbon

Group H

Ayeyawady United 0-0 New Radiant

Lao Toyota 0-0 Persib Bandung

Pahang handed first AFC defeat; victories for Persib, Ayeyawady

Malaysia Super League outfit Pahang’s unbeaten start in the 2015 AFC Cup came to an end on Wednesday after they were beaten 1-0 by Hong Kong’s South China in Group G.

The only goal of the game at the Darulmakmur Stadium arrived after 13 minutes when Chan Siu Ki received a neat past from Philip Chan with his back to goal, before swivelling and smashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Despite the support of their home crowd, Pahang rarely threatened – apart from a couple of threatening runs by R. Gopinathan – and looked bereft of ideas in the attacking third, clearly missing the foreign strike duo of Dickson Nwakaeme and Matias Conti.

The result means South China stay top with a maximum nine points from their opening three matches, while Tok Gajah remain second but are now only a point behind Myanmar’s Yadanarbon.

After starting their campaign with two straight defeats, Yadanarbon are finally off the mark after recording a comfortable 2-0 triumph over United Football League champions Global at the Mandalarthiri Stadium.

Following a goalless first half, Djedje Maximin broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute as he floated a lovely pass out right to find Thet Naing, before racing into the box to meet his return cross and send a firm first-time shot into the back of the net.

And in injury-time, the hosts went on to wrap up the three points after Sithu Aung broke free inside the area and squared the ball for Win Htay Kyaw, who was left with the simple task of prodding the ball over the line with his knee.

Yadanarbon’s fellow Myanmar National League outfit – Ayeyawady United – also produced an impressive display on Wednesday to beat New Radiant 3-0 at the National Football Stadium and move second in Group H.

Edison Fonseca scored with a close-range header to put the visitors ahead in the 34th minute, before Riste Naumov netted twice in the final five minutes to make sure of the win for Ayeyawady.

The other match in the group saw Indonesia Super League giants Persib Bandung move two points clear at the top after claiming a hard-fought 1-0 win over Laotian side Lao Toyota.

The winner arrived in the 20th minute after terrific play from Supardi Nasir saw him skip past two men before playing a lovely through-pass into the path of Tantan, who drew out the onrushing Chanthakard Syenpongsai before squaring the ball to leave Atep with an easy tap-in at the far post.

Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group G

Yadanarbon 2-0 Global

Pahang 0-1 South China

Group H

Persib Bandung 1-0 Lao Toyota

New Radiant 0-3 Ayeyawady United

Gutsy Global deny Pahang; Persib held by Ayeyawady

Philippine outfit Global produced a spirited display on Wednesday to hold Malaysia Super League giants Pahang to a 0-0 draw in AFC Cup Group G.

Global, who were hammered 6-1 by South China in their competition debut two weeks ago, were expected by many to be overrun by Tok Gajah at the Darulmakmur Stadium.

But in what turned out to be an indomitable performance from Leigh Manson’s charges, they were able to keep the hosts at bay for throughout the 90 minutes, with goalkeeper Jun Badelic and defenders Amani Aguinaldo and Daisuke Sato all proving to be unbeatable at the back.

The visitors did have their chances as well as Mark Hartmann and Richard Talaroc both gave Pahang a real scare, although the Malaysian side only had themselves to blame as they missed a host of gilt-edged opportunites – R. Gopinathan the biggest culprit on the night.

Nonetheless, Global’s evening was slightly tarnished in injury-time when Aguinaldo was sent off for a second bookable offence, although it was rather harsh given he appeared to not have heard the whistle when he booted the ball away after a freekick had been awarded.

Elsewhere in Group G, Myanmar’s Yadanarbon are still looking for their first points of the campaign after being beaten 3-1 by Hong Kong side South China, who stayed top of the table with a maximum six points from two matches.

South China took the lead at the Mong Kok Stadium after 13 minutes when a deft flick from Daniel McBreen released Lo Kong Wai, who raced through down the left before clinically placing his shot in off the post.

Six minutes later, it was 2-0 after Yadanarbon keeper Thiha Sithu – under no pressure – punched the ball straight out to Bojan Malisic, whose first-time volley back into the box was met by Mahama Awal with a neat finish from five yards out.

The contest was then effectively over eight minutes before the break after McBreen had been left completely unmarked inside the box, and was able to meet Chan Siu Ki’s corner with an easy close-range header into the back of the net.

To their credit, the visitors refused to give in without a fight and did grab a consolation in the 89th minute; Zaw Lin Tun reacting quickest to Yan Paing’s flick-on header and nodding the ball past Cristian Mora.

Over in Group H, Indonesia Super League giants Persib Bandung were unable to make it two wins in a row after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ayeyawady United of Myanmar at the Thuwunna Stadium.

Persib were initially on track for victory after edging ahead on the stroke of halftime when Tantan latched onto Muhammad Ridwan’s cut-back and held off a challenge before laying it off to Atep Rizal, who stayed cool to steady himself before smashing a half-volley into the roof of the net.

However, the visitors went on to force the draw in the 58th minute when Edison Fonseca pounced on a poor pass by Hariono inside his own half and headed straight for goal, before unleashing a 30-yard piledriver that nicked off Vladimir Vujovic’s back and made its way into the far corner.

The other Group H match saw Laotian club Lao Toyota relinquish a lead to be defeated 2-1 by New Radiant of Maldives at the National Football Stadium.

Although the visitors had went in front through Maitee’s 37th-minute opener, New Radiant equalised eight minutes after the hour mark through a strike from Nigerian midfielder Patrick Okoro.

And with two minutes remaining, the hosts were handed the perfect opportunity to claim maximum points after being awarded a penalty – paving the way for Ashad Ali to slot home the winner.

Wednesday’s AFC Cup Results

Group G

South China 3-1 Yadanarbon

Pahang 0-0 Global

Group H

Ayeyawady United 1-1 Persib Bandung

New Radiant 2-1 Lao Toyota

Persib off to a bang in AFC Cup; Pahang leave it late

Indonesia Super League champions Persib Bandung opened their 2015 AFC Cup Group H campaign in style after cruising to a 4-1 win over Maldives’ New Radiant on Wednesday evening.

Centre-back Achmad Jufriyanto popped up at the other end to score and hand Persib a 15th-minute lead at the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium, before Malian attacker Makan Konate doubled their advantage three minutes before the break.

Right on the stroke of halftime, the contest was effectively over when Atep Rizal added a third for the hosts, although New Radiant pulled one back on the hour mark through a strike from captain Ashad Ali.

Nonetheless, Persib always remained in control of proceedings and wrapped things up in the second minute of injury-time when substitute Yandi Munawar found the back of the net to complete the rout.

The other Group H game saw debutants Lao Toyota come from two goals down to hold Myanmar National League outfit Ayeyawady United to a 2-2 draw at the New Laos National Stadium.

Macedonian striker Riste Naumov had fired the visitors ahead after 21 minutes, and it looked like they were cruising to victory when he doubled his tally in the 57th minute.

But in the 63rd minute, Sitthideth Khantavong reduced the deficit before Phattana Syvilay equalised just two minutes later, which ultimately proved enough to hand Lao Toyota a share of the spoils.

Over in Group G, Pahang of Malaysia left it late to see off Myanmar’s Yadanarbon 3-2 at the Mandalarthiri Stadium.

Tok Gajah were initially in a comfortable position when Dickson Nwakaeme broke the deadlock after six minutes, before finding the back of the net once more in the 12th minute.

However, a Damion Stewart own-goal got Yadanarbon back in the game, and they pulled level ten minutes into the second half when Djedje Maximin successfully converted from the penalty spot.

Just when it looked like a draw was on the cards, Malaysia international R. Gopinathan netted a minute from time to win it for the visitors.

Finally, the other game in Group G saw Philippine debutants Global handed a heavy 6-1 thrashing by Hong Kong’s South China at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Daniel McBreen and Mahama Awal both netted braces and Lo Kong Wai and Chan Wai Ho were also on target for the visitors, while Global’s consolation arrived three minutes before fulltime through a Michael Jonsson strike.

Pahang to meet debutants Global; Balestier set for AFC bow

Malaysia FA Cup winners Pahang were pitted in Group G for the 2015 AFC Cup following Thursday’s draw in Kuala Lumpur.

Tok Gajah, who also won the Malaysia Cup this past season, will definitely meet Hong Kong’s South China and debutants Global, whose appearance marks Philippines’ bow in the competition.

The final team in Group G is set to be Myanmar giants Yadanarbon, although they will be replaced by Yangon United should they qualify for the group stage of the AFC Champions League.

Over in Group F, Singapore Cup champions Balestier Khalsa and are likely to meet Malaysian giants Johor Darul Ta’zim and Kitchee of Hong Kong, who are both bidding to qualify for the first-tier competition, along with Indian outfit East Bengal.

Persib Bandung, another Champions League hopeful, are in Group H and will face off against Myanmar’s Ayeyawady United, Laotian debutants Lao FC and Maldivian giants New Radiant.

Finally in Group E, S.League champions Warriors – who will be replaced by Tampines Rovers if they qualify for the ACL – will meet Persipura Jayapura of Indonesian, a side from India, as well as the winners of the playoff between Filipino outfit Ceres and Maziya.