SCG Muangthong welcome to the stadium Nakhon Ratchasima Mazda FC, the ‘Swatcats’, in Matchday 12 of the interrupted 2020 season. It’s also the first league match for Coach Mario Gjurovski in front of home fans, and the Kirin legend is intent on putting on a winning performance. It’s expected to be a sell out, although the league has limited attendance to 50% of stadium capacity.
(please observe social distancing during tonight’s match, and wear a mask, thank you)
Muangthong are coming off a difficult away game. Competing just last Wednesday in a rescheduled fixture against last year’s champions, Chiang Rai United, the Kirin played tremendously well. Although the match was lost 2-1, many fans were disappointed and felt the club deserved points.
As a result, the team is keen to show fans a quality game tonight and to overpower their opponents with a strong win.
The Swatcats, however, will not be taken for granted, and have the advantage of having rested since November 7th. The Swatcats also have a strong record away from home.
A familiar face for Kirin fans will be Leandro Assumpcao (#7). The Brazilian played with Chonburi for many seasons. In 2017 he signed with the Kirin for a short spell, before moving to the Swatcats. As well, Dennis Murillo (#23) six years experience with Thai football and is very capable of causing trouble for the Kirin backline.
Said Muangthong United Coach Mario Gjurovski, “We have to be ready for their counter-attack and close down any opportunities to move quickly towards our goal.”
SCG Muangthong United continues to improve since Gjurovski took over the reins about one month ago. Since then the team has won three games, and very nearly a fourth win over Chiang Rai. Coach Mario is looking to bring “attractive football” back to the SCG Stadium, and to generate lots of goals and excitement for fans.
Gjurovski is a former Muangthong player, a member of the 2012 “INVINCIBLES” who went undefeated for the season and captured the championship. After retiring from professional play in 2019, Gjurovski began to work with the club’s academy teams until he found himself suddenly back at the SCG Stadium.
Said Gjurovski, “I have great memories of this club, and I remember we'd be winning 2-0 and fans were saying that's not good enough, now fans can only cheer when we clear the ball into the stands. We need to change this right away, this is Muangthong, we should always be on top. There is not much time, but I will do everything I can to change MTUTD, to play attractive football. I am very thankful for this huge opportunity. “
As a player Gjurovski was well known for his creativity, either creating the perfect killer pass to set up a teammate, or finishing with flair. His goal celebrations are the stuff of legend. Fans are advised to direct their gaze to the sideline when Muangthong scores to observe some of the same passion on display.
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