Ulsan Hyundai Motors beat BG Pathum United 2-0 to stay unbeaten in the Asian Champions League while all the other three matches in the competition on Tuesday produced lop-sided results that left losing sides grappling with a few home truths.
Last year’s MVP Yoon Bit-garam missed the match for Ulsan due to injury but the South Korean giants still had enough firepower to quell their Thai rivals’ challenge at the LEO Stadium in Thanyaburi.
Kim Min-jun and Lukas Hinterseer scored in the first half to give holders Ulsan their second straight win in the tournament in Group F.
Pathum United played aggressively and got their first crack at the Ulsan goal in the 17th minute after Koh Myong-jin fouled Diogo outside the penalty area.
But the Brazilian forward, who took the free-kick, sent his shot sailing over the bar.
Ulsan took charge after that and started making inroads past the Pathum United defence, breaking the deadlock in the 24th minute.
Kim grabbed a pass from Valeri Qazaishvili before advancing and unleashing a powerful drive from well outside the penalty area, with the ball bouncing into the goal after taking a deflection off defender Andres Tunez’s foot.
The Thais had a couple of pot-shots at the Ulsan goal but it was the Koreans who consolidated with the match two minutes into first-half stoppage time.
Lee Chung-yong fired from well outside the area and Austrian forward Hinterseer produced a delectable back-heel to re-direct the ball into the net.
Pathum Thani made several changes in a desperate bid to salvage the situation but to no avail even as rain lashed the ground leading to the suspension of play in the 79th minute.
Play resumed 30 minutes later but Ulsan held on to top the table with six points after Vietnam’s Viettel FC thrashed the Philippines’ Kaya FC 5-0 in a late match.
Viettel were the only Southeast Asian side to acquit themselves well on Tuesday, although it must be said that their rivals were also novices at this level.
Brazilian Caique scored a brace while Nguyen Hoang Duc, Bui Tien Dung and Vu Minh Tuan also helped themselves on to the scoresheet as Viettel grabbed their first win in the competition.
United City, another Filipino side making their debut, also suffered heavily with South Korea’s Daegu putting them to the sword for a 7-0 victory.
The Group I match saw An Yong-woo score a brace in the second half after Brazilians Cessina and Edgar Silva had given them a 2-0 lead early in the match.
Kim Jin-hyuk, Park Han-bin and Jeong Chi-in accounted for the other goals in Tashkent to give Daegu their first win in two matches.
Kawasaki Frontale also made hay in Group I, thrashing a depleted Beijing Guoan 7-0 in Tashkent for their second win in as many matches.
The 2020 J1-League champions opened their account through Tatsuya Hasegawa in the seventh minute and Kento Tachibanada made it 2-0 just a minute later.
Kei Chinen helped himself to a second-half brace while Daiya Tono, Kazuya Yamamura and Yasuto Wakizaka completed the tally.