AFC Cup: Pipob's goal helps Chonburi to advance



Chonburi FC won its round of last 16 match against the Iraqi representative Al-Zawra'a SC and progressed to the AFC Cup quarter finals.

The, because of injury, doubtful Suree Sukha, Adul Lahso and Cholratit Jantakam were all lined up in Chonburi's starting 11. Skipper Pipob On-Mo was lined up as lone striker and he scored the only goal of the night. Just eight minutes were played when he converted a nice cross from Therdsak Chaiman. Somehow one should get afraid of the day when the 38-year-old experienced midfielder is to hang up his boots. He would not only be a big loss to Chonburi but also for the league.

Chonburi could have made in 2-0 in stoppage time of the first half. After a corner kick by Therdsak, Diakite forced Al-Zawra'a goalkeeper Ahmad Ali Jaber to perform a brilliant save and seconds later Pipob missed the goal just wide.

Same like in the first half, the visitors from Iraq hardly had any clear-cut chance. Trainer Radhi Shenaishil blamed the long trip to Thailand for poor performance of his side and a long injury list. But in the same way said "....we made a lot of mistakes."

Super-sub Nurul Sriyankem replaced Therdsak Chaiman 15 minutes before the end and added some freshness to the game. However, it remained a slim, but deserved 1-0 win against Al-Zawra'a.

For a third time in four years Chonburi qualified for the quarterfinal of the AFC Cup. Alongside the Thai representative, with Kelantan and Arema Indonesia, are two more clubs from South-East Asia in the drawing lots. Al-Shorta (Syria), Al-Ettifaq (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait SC, Arbil (Iraq) and Al-Wehdat (Jordan) completing the round. The latter three all were standing in the semis of the AFC Cup last year with Kuwait SC knocking out Muang Thong United. If the Sharks can avoid any of these clubs, chances to advance to next round is not too bad. The draw takes place on 14 June.
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