THE WAY TO WIN: solid defending and swift counter attack

SCG Muangthong United thrilled their fans with a resounding 3-0 home win over Ratchaburi. Goals came from Adisak, then Teerasil, and finally Peeradol. The match also featured Michael N’dri making his debut with the club. The quality of the DREAM TREAM 2016 was apparent, and the 10,000+ spectators were treated to the best football in the country.

Coach Totchtawan stated the same 11 players from the 2-0 win over Bangkok Glass a few days ago, with Aoyama still injured, and Teerasil Dangda not yet 100%, however available as a sub.

Adisak was to knock in Muanghtong’s first goal at the 10th minute, with an assist from Cleiton Silva. Silva had run the ball through the centre and was tackled, but the ball was recovered by Adisak who made a quick dash to elude the defenders and then tucked the ball in from close range.

Yet despite the early goal, the two teams were battling equally, and Ratchaburi F.C. pressured high. Heberty Fernandes, the 27 year old Brazilian that led Ratchaburi in goals last season, dominated the attack, forcing the Muangthong defenders to scramble. Datsakorn, playing the holding midfielder role, was instrumental in tracking back to double up the coverage.

Cleiton Silva almost had his 4th of the season when he caught the Ratchaburi keeper off his line, but his long shot was just wide.

At the 33rd minute Artit went down and needed the medic. New signing Mario Abrante immediately began warming up, though Artit rejoined the match. Ratchaburi were applying plenty of pressure and dominated the play, and the defenders were at their best to control the quick pass-and-run game.

Yet SCG Muangthong United were dangerous when they were able to get the ball close to Ratchaburi’s net. Adisak almost had two more from close in shots resulting from quick runs forward towards the goal. At the half time whistle the two teams matched each other for chances, but it was Muangthong who had been able to convert possession into real opportunities at goal.

Second half play began with the same fast paced style, with Ratchaburi’s forwards moving the ball quickly forward. At the 50th minute Yannick Djalo lobbed a shot in that was off the crossbar. A few moments later Yannick and Heberty combined in a series of passes moving the ball from half way to the 18 yard box in the blink of an eye.

Likewise at the 56th minute Thitipan’s dash down the right and low hard cross was flicked just wide by Cleiton Silva.

As was the case in the last match, Thailand star striker Teerasil Dangda entered the match for

Datsakorn Thonglao at the 60th minute.

The insertion of Teerasil bore fruit just 5 minutes later. Tristan Do take a pass from Sarach and headed towards the touch line, his cross to the middle found Teerasil who hit one in for Muangthong’s second goal.

The intensity level of the game did not wane as the last 10 minutes began, with both teams pressing, including a chance for Chanathip from close. A series of corner kicks and free kicks for Rathchaburi followed. At the 84th minute Herbety’s free kick from 35 yards was into the wall. The resulting corner kick was headed back into the six yard box, but offside was called on Ratchaburi after the defenders had cleared the line quickly.

Coach Totchtawan used his second sub by bringing in Peeradol just 2 minutes left new signing Michael N’dri made his Muangthong United debut, subbing for Cleiton Silva. His effect was immediate, drawing a foul and setting up a free kick in good territory.

Soon after Peeradol, as did Teerasil, proved his worth by knocking in SCG Muangthong United’s third goal with a powerful shot from the edge of the box.

After the match Michael N’dri expressed his joy at having had the chance to enter the match. “I am very happy to have had the chance to play today, even if it was for only 5 minutes. But I gave 200% when I am on the pitch no matter what. And this is such a great atmosphere, the fans are amazing. I am really looking forward to giving more for this club, it’s very exciting for me.”

With the win SCG Muangthong United shoot to the top of the table, helped in part as Buriram United played out a scoreless draw with Chiang Rai United.

SCG Muangthong United’s next match is just a few days away when Bectero Sasana visits the SCG Stadium, Wednesday March 16th, 7PM. This will be the fourth match for the Toyota Thai League in just 11 days, and the fast paced start to the season has provided the fans with some great excitement.

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