SAITAMA – Nineteen-year-old winger Daiki Hashioka netted a second-half brace as the Urawa Reds beat visiting Thai side Buriram United 3-0 in their opening Asian Champions League Group G clash on Wednesday night.
Veteran center-back Tomoaki Makino headed in what proved to be the winner five minutes into the second half at Saitama Stadium before Hashioka struck twice in quick succession.
The Reds, winners of their last eight ACL home games, were looking for their first victory of the season after starting their J. League campaign with back-to-back losses.
Manager Oswaldo Oliveira picked virtually a full-strength squad for the game, sticking with the core of the lineup that lost 2-0 to Consadole Sapporo in the J. League on Saturday.
Among the new inclusions was Hashioka, who started on the right of a four-man midfield behind Australian forward Andrew Nabbout and strike partner Shinzo Koroki.
The Reds were in control throughout the contest and were barely threatened by the Thai first-division champions, who managed just three shots, only one of which was on target.
Koroki forced the game’s first save in the 24th minute, moments before Buriram launched a counterattack that was stopped in the area by Makino.
The World Cup squad member gave Urawa the lead following a 50th-minute corner kick, rising to meet Yosuke Kashiwagi’s cross in the middle of the area.
Hashioka pounced for his first goal after Buriram keeper Siwarak Tedsungnoen parried a shot from Kazuki Nagasawa into his path, netting from inside the box in the 75th minute.
He added an exclamation point 12 minutes from time, turning in a cross from substitute Koya Yuruki from close range with his right foot.
Urawa is aiming to win its third ACL title after lifting the trophy in 2007 and 2017.
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