Chonburi 1-2 Al Shorta
The Sharks got off to a dream start scoring a goal within three minutes. A long ball out of defence from Adul found Thiago in space on the right. The Brazilian cut inside the out of position left back and shot under the keeper at the near post. It was a decent enough strike but Karkar should have done better.
Despite the early goal, the game settled down with both sides sizing each other out. The hosts twice went close from free kicks. Therdsak’s dipping shot was fisted out by Karkar and Diakite’s 30 yarder fizzed by the upright.
As half time approached, the Sharks were dealt a bitter double blow as Al Shorta scored twice to take a 2-1 lead.
The leveller on 39 minutes came from an Al Jafal volley after a slick interchange of passes through the Chonburi rearguard.
Five minutes later, the Sharks were reeling when Habib’s cross from the right was scuffed into the ground by De Soares. The ball landed fortunately for the Brazilian to smack into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 for the Syrian Champions.
Chonburi came out after the interval searching for the equalizer. Therdsak couldn’t connect at the back post after the Al Shorta back 4 had lost their bearings, and Thiago forced Karkar to block with his legs although the striker was penalized for handball in the build up.
The Thai side were finding plenty of space down the right flank and Thaigo set up Noppanon who was denied by the diving Al Masri’s chest. From the resultant corner, Arthit’s inswinger was tipped onto the crossbar by Karkar. Minutes later the same man swung over a free kick into the box but Jetsadakorn spurned his free header wide of the target.
With the clock ticking down, it was Al Shorta who had a good spell of possession with Ali Galioum firing a shot across goal.
Just as it appeared that Chonburi were running out of ideas, they had a late rally with a low diving Chonlatit header being kept out at the back post while Thiago had an effort from a tight angle cleared off the line after he’d rounded the keeper on the edge of the box.
That was game over and the second leg will be played next Tuesday in Zerqu City, Jordan.