SCG Muangthong United bring home 3 points with a 1-0 victory over Air Force Central FC at the Thupatemi Stadium in north Bangkok. Jaja Coelho scored the only goal, his first ever for the Kirin, in A scrappy match that included numerous yellow cards, injuries, and a wayward fan on the pitch.
Coach Totchtawan Sripan was still without key centre
back Celio Santos and midfielder Wattana Playnum. Both players are 2-3 weeks away from returning to action following pre-season injuries. Adisorn Promrak
was given the start alongside Naoaki Aoyama, while Peerapat and Tristan Do maintained their starting roles as wing backs.
The midfielder rotation was to see Sanukran and Thossawat, along with regular starters Heberty, Charyl Chappuis, and Sarach Yooyen. Once again, Jaja Coelho was the starting striker. Early in the match the Kirin looked like they would be first on the scoreboard when Heberty and Jaja connected with a give-and-go that brought Heberty close to goal, but Air Force Central's keeper, Sahawit, was there for the block.
By the 18th minute the Kirin were in control of the game, quickly turning over possession in the midfield. A free kick into the box found Jaja who tried to nod on the ball to the near post, but once again Sahawit was there for the save. A few moments later it was Jaja once agin, this time heading Peerapat's cross towards goal, but the off balance attempt was wide of target.
It was just a matter of time, and at the 29th minute Jaja Coehlo scored his first ever goal for the Kirin, heading in another of Peerapat's crosses, this one perfectly placed with the ball at the corner of the six yard box.
Air Force Central FC were in better possession as the second half rolled out, keeping the Kirin on the defensive. SCG Muangthong United's keeper, Kampon, was spared a save thanks to the hard working defensive line.
At minute 65 Peerapat was subbed out with the powerful striker Siroch Chatthong taking to the pitch. The substitution seemed to have an immediate effect, with Siroch playing wide on the left and pressing. The Kirin were to have several attempts at goal shortly after, including a shot from Charyl Chappuis that was just over the bar.
Air Force were to respond with a substitution of their own, bringing in striker Warayut. The Eagles were to have several attempts at goal, but again centre backs Naoaki Aoyama and Adison were dominant, heading clear challenges.
Worrying for the Kirin is the injury to Adison when he was upended on an attempted shot, requiring Nukoolkrit to be subbed in for the remaining 10 minutes. With centre back Celio Santos already sidelined, Coach Totchtawan will be hoping it's nothing more than a knock.
As the medical crew were attending to Adisorn, amazingly an Air Force Central fan entered the pitch and made it all the way to the medical team! It was the Air Force back line that escorted him off the pitch, not stadium security.
Shortly after Charyl Chappuis was on the turf after a hard tackle and he also required the golf cart. Though he hobbled back to the pitch, midfielder Suporn was called in.
With six minutes of added time due to various interruptions Air Force FC were to have one last corner attempt. The Kirin keeper was up to the task, batting the ball clear.
SCG Muangthong United's next match is Saturday March 3rd when Chiang Rai United visit the SCG Stadium.