SCG Muangthong United played with spirit and urgency but were unable to stage the comeback win that had been the feature of their last three games. The 3-0 home loss to Buriram United was not a reflection of the effort and determination shown.
For many fans it was the match-of-the-season and not to be missed, the long standing rivalry between SCG Muangthong United and Buriram, played out at the SCG Stadium. Muangthong fans sold out the stadium and it was a loud and raucous setting. Buriram showed they dominate the league, with all goals from players other than league leading Diogo Santos. They simply have the depth of players to dominate the league and march over others to the top.
Coach Curcic was able to start Naoaki Aoyama in the centre back alongside Lee Ho, a defensive pairing missing over the last few matches due to injury. Kampon once again was the starting keeper, and the wing back roles went to Tristan Do and Peerapat. The midfield saw Heberty Fernandes in the attacking role, with Sarach Yooyen, Charyl Chappuis, and Wattana, giving support to the defenders and being the play makers. Up top, youngster Weerawut got his second start of the season alongside power forward, Jaja Coelho, eager to score against his former club.
SCG Muangthong United were the better team for the first twenty minutes. A great chance for Jaja came early on when he took Tristan Do's cross to the deck and fired a quick shot which smacked off the post. The tackle on Jaja was questionable, but after consulting VAR the referee determined the contact was not significant to have affected play.
The fiesty nature of play brought about the match's second VAR session soon after when Heberty and Andreas Tunez tangled just outside the Buriram penalty area. While it appeared that Tunez had added a second jab, Heberty also appeared to have retaliated, resulting in yellows for both players.
The physical nature of the match was evident again at the 30th minute. Fans will be worrying over the condition of Naoaki Aoyama after a collision midfield. His return to the starting eleven was short lived as Ao was transported to Bangkok Hospital during the match for further examination for a possible head injury. Adison Pomrak quickly suited up and took position in the centre back role.
The game turned at this point with Buriram United taking charge. Their first shot on net and several corner kicks ensued. Buriram United were soon to notch a goal. Nearing the final five minutes of the half, the ball was played in to Korrakot at the penalty spot; with enough time for a shot. Wattana made the attempted block, and the ball deflected off his side and in.
Coach Curcic made no changes to the line up to start the second half. Once again, Muangthong United were off to a strong start and less than a minute in Heberty Fernandes fired off a low drive that required Siwarak to be sharp on the save.
The Heberty-Tunez duel resumed with the Kirin midfielder upended about 35 yards from goal and a free kick opportunity. The ball into the box took a favourable bounce off a defender, but unfortunately fell behind the attacking line.
At the 60th minute, Seeking some scoring potential, Curcic brought in 20 year old Poramet Arjvirai. Shortly after Jaja was to have another shot on goal, taking Tristan Do's low pass and stepping past a defender, but his strike lacked power and was easily handled.
The Kirin were to go two goals down after a moment of lost focus led to open space for Osvaldo to run at the net and hit the easy goal past Kampon. A similar third goal materialized late in the game when the counter attack met with little resistance from the Kirin back line.
Looking for a late come back rally, Coach Curcic next brought in Adisak Kraison as the final Kirin substitution.
A few moments later Jaja went down in the box looking for the shot, and for the third time VAR was consulted. The penalty shot was confirmed, but Heberty made an uncharacteristic error and missed the opportunity that might have put the Kirin back in the game.
Said Coach Radovan Curcic, "We played very well for much of the game, and we gave our all, but Buriram punished our mistakes, and we failed to score from the chances we had."
SCG Muangthong United now begin two away match games, with a visit to Chainat on September 22nd and then Sukhothai F.C. on September 30th.