Buriram recovered from a nightmare start to record a hard-earned but well-deserved victory over in-form Chonburi.The game was played in torrential rain which meant the pitch was flooded in some areas and both teams deserve credit for providing an entertaining encounter.
The players wore black armbands and a minute’s silence was observed before the game as a mark of respect for the Bangkok bomb victims.
Buriram were at full strength but fell behind in the third minute. Narubadin conceded a free-kick wide left and when the ball was delivered into the box, former Buriram player Dos Santos headed home from close range to send the home crowd wild.
Buriram got on the offensive immediately and in the sixth minute following a corner, Theerathon returned the ball into the box but Diogo’s goalbound shot was diverted for a corner. Three minutes later Macena made good progress down the left but put his cross into the side-netting.
After twenty minutes Jakkaphan won the ball just outside the area but the keeper dived low to his left to pull off a good save.Seven minutes later Chonburi were awarded a free-kick twenty-five yards out and the well-struck shot was held by Siwarak.
Buriram were on top now and were coping well with the conditions, so it was no real surprise when they deservedly drew level in the thirty-first minute. A left-wing cross was headed out as far as Seul Ki just outside the area and the Korean hit the ball on the volley with the outside of his right foot to send it screaming into the net. A fantastic strike.
Buriram continued to press and were thwarted by the keeper as he spread himself well to block Diogo’s low shot after the Brazilian had latched on to a through-ball in the thirty-eighth minute. Three minutes later the home side should have been reduced to ten men.
Their striker had been sailing close to the wind the whole time and when Tunez told him what he thought about his latest misdemeanour,he responded by pushing his hand into the big defender’s face. Whilst Tunez’s reaction was disappointing,it was a clear red card but the referee chose yellow.
Two minutes before the interval Diogo stupidly pushed Dos Santos over and the Chonburi defender made a complete meal of it in an attempt to get Diogo sent off. Both players rightly received a yellow card. It is a side of football that I find particularly distasteful.
Deep into stoppage time Chonburi almost got through down the left but luckily the ball got stuck in the standing water in the area to allow Buriram to clear. So an eventful half with Buriram just about shading it. The rain was relentless and the game being halted was a real possibility.
Buriram made a bright start to the second period with Macena posing problems for the Chonburi defence. Then in the fiftieth minute following a scramble in the Chonburi box , Diogo got in a shot but it was straight at the keeper. Five minutes later Buriram missed a golden opportunity to take the lead.
Suchao sent a free-kick to the far post which Tunez headed back across goal for Seul Ki to blast over the bar from five yards. It seemed easier to score and Seul Ki was left to hope that it wouldn’t prove costly.
Buriram were keeping the Chonburi attack quiet though the home side did break away in the sixty-second minute when an onrushing forward just failed to connect with a low cross.Shortly after Narubadin received a yellow card for another foul near the half-way line.
There was no sign of the rain easing up but Buriram were coping with the conditions far better than Chonburi and they deservedly took the lead in the sixty-sixth minute. Macena won a right-wing corner which was taken by Theerathon who sent an inswinger to the near-post. Seul Ki headed on for Diogo to gleefully turn the ball home from close range.
Five minutes later Narubadin was wisely replaced by Anawin as Buriram looked to close the game down. Chonburi created a good chance nine minutes from time but Siwarak made a good save ,diving low to his left following a through ball.
Buriram then brought on Surat for Jakkaphan to bolster the defence and his first touch was to send the ball narrowly past his own goal after a Chonburi free-kick. Three minutes later he was fortunate not to concede a penalty when the ball struck his arm in the box.
Jandson came on for Diogo and there was still time for Siwarak to gratefully clutch a header from a left-wing corner.Buriram saw out the five minutes of stoppage time without any more alarms to claim a valuable three points against one of their main rivals.
It was an excellent,fighting performance and the players deserve credit for the way they reacted to going behind so early in the game. They used the long ball well which was a sensible tactic given the conditions. Tunez was a colossus at the back and the midfield worked well as a unit. The team can feel well-satisfied with their night’s work.
There will now be a break as Thailand face Iraq in a World Cup qualifier early next month.