Buriram went out of the League Cup in front of a large crowd, losing a combative game against fierce rivals Muang Thong 2-0. The visitors were probably the better side from a football perspective but their attitude was disappointing to say the least.
They were guilty of play-acting and gross intimidation of the referee on a number of occasions. At one time, EIGHT players, including the goalkeeper who ran fifty yards, surrounded the referee demanding that he issue a yellow card.
The worst offenders were the Japanese centre-back and former Buriram star Theerathon who lost whatever sympathy he had left from Buriram fans. The conduct of most of their players simply highlighted why they are the most despised team in the country.
The result was hard on Diogo and Seul-Ki in particular. The Korean was imperious in midfield, hardly wasting a ball or missing a tackle. Buriram opted for experience with both Suchao and Jakkaphan in midfield with no place for the exciting Supachok.
When the youngster was finally introduced, he caused Muang Thong problems with his pace and direct running. Jakkaphan once again was hugely disappointing and yet he continues to be selected. Something of a mystery.
Muang Thong started the brighter of the two sides, keeping possession for long periods, though without really troubling the Buriram defence. The first real threat came from Diogo who had a shot blocked and Seul-Ki wasn’t far away with an overhead kick in the 23rd minute.
Buriram came even closer five minutes later when Seul-Ki picked out Diogo in the box with a delightful long pass. The Brazilian pulled the ball down before rolling a low shot just wide of the far-post.
Jakkaphan then had a sight of goal in the 35th minute but shot tamely straight at the keeper. Buriram thought they’d broken the deadlock in the 43rd minute when Coelho collected a loose ball in the box before turning and firing into the net.
However, the referee ruled that Narubadin’s challenge was unfair following a cross, something of a harsh decision as he never took his eyes off the ball.
Buriram had another chance in first-half stoppage time when Narubadin got to the byline down the right and crossed low but Diogo was foiled by a superb block by a defender.
Despite Muang Thong’s amount of possession, it was Buriram who looked more threatening and it was all to play for in the second-half.
Seul-Ki provided the half’s first opening in the 51st minute when he found Coelho with a lovely dinked short cross but the striker inexplicably headed the ball upwards and over the bar.
Two minutes later he got on the end of a through ball but couldn’t get enough on his shot as he stretched. Shortly after Buriram were hit by a sucker punch as the visitors took the lead.
A Buriram attack broke down and the ball was moved quickly to Heberty down the right who only had Suchao to beat to get clear. This he did with consummate ease before pulling the ball back for Adisak.
The striker failed to control the ball and two Buriram defenders had the opportunity to clear but failed to do so and the ball fell to the whining Assumpcao for an easy,low finish.
Buriram immediately brought on Korravit for Suchao to hopefully get better quality crosses into the box. It almost worked in the 67th minute when Korravit’s left-wing cross was diverted goalwards by a defender but Kawin just managed to get a leg to the ball and divert it wide .
In the 68th minute the unthinkable happened, Theerathon scored ! A calamitous error by Narubidin left Muang Thong with a four on one situation and when Theerathon was played clear,he beat Siwarak with a cool finish.
Buriram were really up against it now and brought on Supachok for Chitipat. This enabled Buriram to attack with more pace but Muang Thong were more than happy to simply concede numerous free-kicks.
This resulted in Diogo being shown a yellow card after yet another altercation with Aoyama who probably should not have been on the field by now. It was all Buriram but they just couldn’t find a way through .
Towards the end of stoppage time a great run by Supachok down the left saw him find Coelho who sent in a fierce shot which was brilliantly saved by Kawin, diving to his right.
So disappointment in the end but Buriram were unfortunate to lose the game. They gifted Muang Thong both goals and left themselves too much to do. You have to accept defeat sometimes but Muang Thong’s demeanour left a nasty taste in the mouth.
The referee should have been stronger and not allowed himself to be pressured by the visitors.
The best response for Buriram is to win their next three league games and bring the league title home. Starting with Sukothai at the I-Mobile Stadium on Saturday October 14, 7pm.
Buriram have been drawn away at Chiang Rai on Wednesday October 18, 7pm in the FA Cup quarter-finals.