Buriram United progressed through to the group stages of the AFC Champions League after edging Brisbane Roar from the penalty
|By MICHAEL HUGUENIN
Thai club Buriram United have denied Brisbane Roar a berth in the AFC Asian Champions League group stage, winning their playoff 3-0 on penalties.
In front of a boisterous home crowd at the Thunder Castle Stadium in north-east Thailand, Buriram dominated the reigning A-League champions through 120 minutes and deservedly triumphed in the penalty shootout as goalkeeper Sivaruck Tedsungnoen saved Brisbane's first three spot kicks.
Thomas Broich took the first penalty of the shootout and Tedsungnoen did well to lift his glove above his head and palm the German's shot away, having already dived to his left.
Tedsungnoen subsequently saved Besart Berisha and James Meyer's tame efforts as Spanish defender Osmar Barba and Swiss midfielder Charyl Chappuis converted their penalties, before Jirawat Makarom sent Buriram into the AFC Asian Champions League for the second year in a row when he scored from the spot.
Brisbane head coach Mike Mulvey made two changes from the side that went down 2-1 to Sydney FC on Sunday, bringing in James Donachie and Ben Halloran for Jack Hingert and Steven Lustica.
The home side were on top from the opening minute, launching attacks at top speed whenever they gained possession.
Buriram regularly hit long balls in behind Roar's full-backs and got some early joy with that tactic, when Anawin Jujeen collected the ball on the right-hand side of the penalty area and shot at the near post but was denied by Michael Theo's smart save.
In the ninth minute, Theo came out to punch a free-kick and his elbow struck Ivan Franjic in the head, knocking the left-back out.
Franjic looked unlikely to continue but after spending around a minute on the sidelines, he returned to action, only to eventually be replaced by Hingert after the half hour, seemingly still feeling the effects of concussion.
Luke Brattan gave a lacklustre Roar their first effort on target in the 25th minute, but Buriram almost opened the scoring soon after when Chappuis shot just wide from a corner.
In the 38th minute, Buriram again found space behind Roar's full-backs with Kai Hirano shooting hard at Theo, while Anthony Ampaipitakwong found plenty of space at the top of the box just before half-time only to miss the target.
Roar had a big chance to take the lead just after the break, when Mitch Nichols shot over from close range, before Theo tipped former Melbourne Victory midfielder Surat Sukha's long-range strike around the post.
With the Thai Premier League season set to start next month, Buriram were unable to maintain their first-half intensity after the break, allowing Brisbane into the game.
But the A-League club failed to convert a number of half-chances, while the hosts remained dangerous on the counter-attack.
After weathering an early storm from the hosts in the first period of extra-time, Roar tested Tedsungnoen when Broich unleashed a powerful drive that was turned away by the gloveman.
But Buriram should have led at half-time of extra-time as Suchao Nutnum shot just wide when clear through on goal, before Goran Jerkovic struck the ball straight at Theo.
The hosts also had the best chance of the second period of extra-time, but Chappuis's shot skimmed wide in the final minute, although Buriram eventually claimed a deserved victory thanks to Tedsungnoen in the shootout.