COME BACK WIN: MTUTD stay in the League Cup

SCG Muangthong United advance to the semifinals of the Toyota League Cup, but it was not easy, and the Kirin needed all 90 minutes plus another 30 for the win.

Totchtawan Sripan rested key players such as Chanathip, Sarach Yooyen, and others, allowing Xisco Jimenez his first start. As well, second string players such as Seksit, Wattana, Visanusak, and Datsakorn Thonglao were given the start.

The decision to not field many regular starters had an immediate effect as Krabi F.C. were to score a quick opening goal. A defensive blunder allowed for an easy shot at net. Teerathon had passed across to central defender Suphan who allowed the ball to pass under his foot to Gerhardt Shipahuopen for the open shot.

The Kirin seemed to wake up after conceding the goal and began to control the match. Yet at the 20 minute mark Datsakorn Thonglao was brought off the pitch injured, and Sarach Yooyen entered the fray. Central defender Naoaki Aoyama played higher up the pitch when chances allowed. Muangthong kept looking for the pass-and-run play, moving the ball often from one side to the other to try find a hole. Krabi F.C. would recover the ball but lose it again near the half way line. The chances did not come for Muangthong in the first half, with blocked attempts and deflections, and the rebounds often ending up at the foot of a Krabi F.C. player.

At the same time SCG Muangthong United were vulnerable to errors and turn overs, with several quick counter attacks that threatened a second goal. After 45 minutes it was still Krabi F.C. up by a goal, and fans hoped to see a better second half.

One change made at half time was Tristan Do entered the match in the right back slot, and by the 55th minute Chanathip was warming up on the side lines, entering the match soon after for Peeradol. Yet the goal was just not to come easily. There were chances. At the 68th minute Cleiton Silva's little chip from inside the box looked promising, however it was off the crossbar and out. Silva hit the crossbar a second time at the 80th minute in the midst of a barrage of attacks.

Krabi F.C. began to engage in plenty of time wasting strategies, with players flopping onto the pitch, and substitutes walking slowly to the touch line. Two yellow cards for time wasting were given.

Finally at the 86th minute Teerathon sent in a cross and Xisco Jimenez scores his first goal as a Kirin with a strong header. At the end of 90 minutes the score was even and the match went to extra periods.

SCG Muangthong United continued to dominate at the same pace and looked more like a championship team then they did in the first half. Just three minutes into the first extra time period Cleiton Silva found the net from the edge of the box after being set up by Chanathip. For the remainder of the match the Kirin had their form back and we clearly in control of the match.

In the other League Cup matches, Port FC advance, as does Songhkla F.C. Buriram United also advance after defeating Bangkok United 8-7 after penalty kicks.

SCG Muangthong United have little time to rest as on Sunday they travel to face Suphanburi, a team on the resurgence after a slow start to the season.

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