Dubai (AFP) – Oh Se-hun struck a first-half brace as holders Ulsan Hyundai FC eased past the Philippines’ Kaya FC 3-0 on Friday to better their own mark of most consecutive wins in the Asian Champions League.
With their third triumph in as many matches at this year’s tournament, the Korean giants took their winning streak to 12 starting in 2020 when they were unstoppable and won the title in Doha with nine straight victories.
Friday’s achievement meant they surpassed their previous record of 11 consecutive wins, a feat they accomplished between 2012 and 2014. They had won the tournament for the first time in 2012. The unmarked Oh put Ulsan ahead in the 12th minute during their Group F match at the Leo Stadium in Thanyaburi with a low shot after Valeri Qazaishvili had scythed his way deep into the Kaya defence and passed for him.
Georgian Qazaishvili had a crack at the Kaya goal in the 22nd minute, but his free-kick, awarded after Oh was fouled by Simone Rota, just missed the net.
But as Ulsan continued to build pressure, another foul, this time by Marwin Angeles on Kim Ji-hyun in the 40th minute, proved costly for the Filipinos.
Defender Hong Chul sent the resultant free-kick curling into the box and the ball took a deflection off Oh’s shoulder before beating the Kaya goalkeeper Louie Casas.
Ulsan enjoyed 80 percent possession and put the outcome beyond doubt when Qazaishvili picked up a loose ball before blasting home from close just three minutes after the break. Oh had a great chance to get a hat-trick later but his shot from the centre of the box bounced off the post.
Also in Group F, Thailand’s BG Pathum United beat Vietnam’s Viettel 2-0 to keep their chances of qualifying for the last 16 alive with their second win in three matches.
Thitiphan Puangjan struck in the 13th minute off an assist by Diogo to give the Thai side an early goal and although Viettel played with great determination, especially in the second half, the Thais sealed their crucial three points with substitute Chaowat Verrachart finding the net in the 84th minute.
Elsewhere, Kawasaki Frontale hammered the Philippines’ United City 8-0 with Kento Tachibanda grabbing a second-half hat-trick at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent.
The Group I encounter saw the Japanese club take a 2-0 lead into the second half where they hit a purple patch to put United City to the sword with Tachibanda grabbing his treble in a span of 15 minutes.
Kaoru Mitoma had a brace while Ryota Oshima, Leandro Damiao and Yasuto Wakizaka were the other scorers as Frontale stayed unbeaten in three games.
In another Group I match, Daegu thrashed Beijing Guoan 5-0 with Brazilians Edgar Silva and Cessinha netting a brace each at the Milliy Stadium, also in Tashkent.
Oh hu-Seong sealed Daegu’s second win in three matches with a strike in second half added time to keep the Koreans in the hunt for a last 16 berth.
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