ROYAL CUP!! - Lost the match, won the hearts of fans

The Kor Royal Cup 2016 - SCG Muangthong United 1 vs. Buriram United 3

SCG Muangthong United’s starting XI KEEPER - Kawin Thamasatchanan

Defenders: Fabricio Silva, Naoaki Aoyama, Artit Daosawang, Peerapat Notchaiya

Midfield: Sarach Yuyen, Chanathaip Songkrasin, Thitipan Puangchan, Tanabon Kesarat,

Forwards: Cleiton Silva, Junior Negrao

Head Coach Totchtawan Sripan was without Thailand’s top striker Teerasil Dangda, but otherwise started a strong line up. The look of how the team might line up for the 2016 season was previewed, with the back four and also the midfield together as a unit for the first time, and the third chance to see Cleiton Silva and Junior Negrao partnered in attack.

Within the first 10 minutes fans the capacity crowd of 20,000 could see the match was going to have the high intensity action one would expect when Muangthong and Buriram play. The best chances early on came for Buriram, with a barrage of attempts on goal, all pushed out by Kawin and the back line.

No surprise when Diogo Luis Santo, last year’s Thai Premier league top goal scorer, made it 1-0 for Buriram at the 13th minute, beating Peerapat and tucking one under Kawin as he charged out of the net.

SCG Muangthong almost equalised at the 17th minute when Negrao fed a back pass to Sarach, however his strike at net was blocked.

The intensity of the pace was maintained with both teams having opportunities, and the physical nature of the match drew 2 yellow cards for each before the end of the half. Muangthong were consistently shut down in the midfield, with Sarach and Chanathip finding themselves quickly marked.

The Muangthong attacks through the middle rarely got near the net, and the long ball forward was used more frequently than has been the style.

When the Buriram defense did slip up, Muangthong were not able to make it count, as is what happened at the 35th minute when a turn over saw the ball come to Cleiton Silva, however his rushed shot was wide, though had it been on target the keeper would have struggled to keep it out of the net.

SCG Muangthong got some bad news shortly into the second half when Naoaki Aoyama had to be taken off by stretcher. Coach Totchtawan took no chances and Suphan came in to the right back slot, with Arit moving into the middle. The medic was back on the pitch just a few moments later as

Sarach Yuyen required the stretcher, but was able to stay in the match.

Much to the delight of the fans Adisak Kraisorn, recently signed with SCG Muangthong United, was subbed in at the 55th minute, taking the place of Negrao alongside Cleiton.

Muangthong were to have an opportunity at the 52nd minute with a free kick in good position following a foul. Yet the ball in towards the six yard box was too low for a header. It was not a good night for set pieces for Muangthong.

Buriram’s second goal came on a penalty shot as Tunez was fouled from behind on a clear breakaway, following from a turn over in the back line. Muangthong captain Kawin pointed out that the foul had occurred outside the box, but the referee was not having it. The Muangthong keeper had plenty of chances to practice penalty saves in the preseason, however he was unable to get a hand on the shot, though he moved correctly.

Muangthong United denied the clean sheet at the 78th minute when Adisak Kraisorn, in his first match, from outside the box hit a low hard shot into the corner. Not 5 minutes later, Kasidech who had been subbed in, took another shot from inside the box that went off a Buriram defender. The entire Muanghtong bench came out to the line calling for a handball, however play went on.

Buriram then added their 3rd goal at the 82nd minute with the easy header in after the attacker was completely unmarked at the far post.

Muangthong seemed to have their second goal at the 90th minute after a fine set up from Sarach Yuyen, however the linesman’s flag was up for an offside and the goal was disallowed.

Since 2010 Muangthong United have been contenders for the Kor Royal Cup 4 times, winning the tophy only once (in 2010). This will be the third time Muanghtong United and Buriram have met in this fixture.

The Royal Cup is the Thai Premier League’s (TPL) annual charity match played before the start of each season. It features the champions of the Thai FA Cup from the previous season with the champions of the Thai Premier league. Should this be the same team, as was the case in 2015, the runners-up to the Thai Premier League title will play the FA Cup champions.

The Kor Royal Cup is the oldest football trophy in Thai professional football, dating back to 1916. Before the TPL, the Kor Royal Cup was the trophy professional teams played for during the season.

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