WE WILL BE BETTER: Negrao scores first goal in first game, but vows more

The first match with Totchtawan Sripan as head coach could have gone better as Muangthong United dropped the match 2-1.

Totchtawan decided to rest recent signing Fabricio Dornellas as he had only joined the club two days before the match. Junior Negrao, however, was handed his first start, alongside countryman Cleiton Silva as a forward. Naoaki Aoyama returned to the pitch following the season break, and the back line was supplemented by Piyaphon on the right, Chaiyawat, and Artit. Sarach Yuyen began the match in the midfield, along with Seksit, Kasidech, and Peeradorn. National team keeper, Kawin, however, was also rested, as was striker Teerasil and team captain Datsakorn Thonglao.

It was a game of contrasting styles. SCG Muangthong United liked to play close short passes, often sending the ball back to the defenders, and tried to work their way methodically to the net. Becamex F.C. were a much more aggressive club with the ball, often choosing to send passes long, or make the cross into the box.

Becamex F.C. scored their first a few moments at the 21st minute with a cross into the box. Some justling occurred between the two sides, and the header went into the net, while the MTUTD keeper Visanusak took a step forward but then thought twice. Visanusak appealed to the linesmen for the foul call but to no avail. On the same play Aoyama left the pitch, and rejoined about 5 minutes later with his head bandaged from the bleeding.

The match did not look at all like a pre-season friendly and the referee handed out his first yellow card to the Becamex forward Troung Dinh Luat shortly after.

At the 31st minute SCG Muangthong United equalised as Negrão scored his first goal in his first match for United, heading in the rebound from Kasidech’s shot which came back to him off the crossbar.

Negrão had another opportunity just before the half with a header that had it not been deflected look bound for the back of the net. At the half the score stood at 1-1. Post match Negrão commented that he knew MTUTD will do a lot better, but acknowledged this was very much a new team, with players getting to know each other, and a new head coach.

Coach Totchtawan started the same line-up for the second half, and the physical game that had emerged in the first half continued. Becamex picked up another yellow card within the first 5 minutes, and the referee’s whistle stopped play frequently for fouls.

A free kick from Sarach at 55 minutes from good position was low and hard and on target, forcing the Becamex F.C. keeper, Bui Tan Trung, into a save at the post.

Close to the 60th minute Coach Totchtawan made his first round of subs, bringing off Negrão, Seksit, and Kasidech, and sending in Chananan, Chainarong, and Wattana. This was followed 15 minutes later when Sarawut came in for Chaiyawat. In the last 15 minutes Datsakorn Thonglao and Siwakorn came in for Sarach Yuyen and Peeradorn.

The push forward style of play Becamex F.C. favoured paid off at the 75th minute when the ball was turned over in the midfield. The initial shot was well saved by Visanusak, however the rebound was not friendly to Muangthong allowing for an easy second goal.'

Muangthong United had two good chances at net in the last 5 minutes of regular time, a free kick from Datsakorn, and volley from Cleiton Silva, however he was offside. The match ended with Muangthong’s second loss of their ASEAN tour, 2016.

Coach Totchtawn will now has the next 10 days to organise his team in time for the AFC preliminary match on February 2nd against Malaysian champs JDT.

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