Buriram made heavy weather of beating a spirited Pattaya side and the game was much closer than the scoreline suggests. Pattaya stunned the champions by taking the lead and were probably the better side in the first-half. Another Tunez header brought Buriram level and they should also have had a penalty for a clear handball.
Buriram brought in Adul for Suchao, a move which backfired as Adul was totally ineffective and he was replaced by Suchao after only twenty-five minutes. Weslley partnered Kaio up front and Koravit was again absent. Buriram had their backs to the wall in the second-half but worryingly it was due to their own indiscipline rather than good play by Pattaya.
The referee was not exactly top drawer and he was never in total control of the game . Buriram conceded numerous free-kicks, allowing the home side to put the pressure on by sending crosses into the box but the defence managed to stand firm. There was no doubt which team had the better players but Buriram allowed themselves to be involved in a “scrap’ rather than playing free-flowing football.
Buriram started brightly and Adul fired just wide after five minutes. Sadly, that was to be his last real contribution to the proceedings, having a night to forget. Siwarak then dealt confidently with a twenty-five yard shot in the seventh minute before Kaio had a low shot from the edge of the area saved four minutes later.
There were loud appeals for a Buriram penalty in the fourteenth minute when Weslley sent a ball into the box from the left and a defender clearly used his arm to block it but the referee saw nothing amiss, someting that was to occur far too frequently. Then completely out of the blue Pattaya took the lead in the nineteenth minute.
The ball was played into the box from the left and when Buriram failed to clear, it fell to Wongsakorn who curled a lovely right-foot shot into the far corner with Siwarak well-beaten. It nearly got worse for Buriram two minutes later when a long ball from the right came in but Tunez managed to get in a vital block.
Adul’s miserable night was finally ended in the twenty-fifth minute when he was replaced by Suchao who almost made an immediate impact. He fed Narubadin down the right and the midfielder got to the byline before crossing for the completely unmarked Weslley to send a woeful header way over the bar.
Buriram finally drew level in the thirty-fourth minute when Suchao’s right-winger corner found Tunez and the big defender rose to send a firm, downward header into the corner of the net. Just before the interval, Kaio had two chances to give Buriram the lead but his first effort lacked power and the second flew high over the bar, following a good move down the right.
A disappointing half with Buriram failing to put the home side under any real, concerted pressure, mainly due to the stop-start nature of the game. Improvement was required.
Buriram made the perfect start to the second-half and took the lead in the forty-sixth minute. A long ball out of defence found Kaio who headed the ball left to the unmarked Weslley. The Brazilian fired in a low shot which was blocked by the keeper but the ball fell perfectly for Kaio who made no mistake from close range.
Buriram should then have kicked on and finished the game off but instead sat back , giving away numerous free-kicks. From one of these in the fifty-first minute a Pattaya forward attempted to punch the ball into the net but despite Buriram’s protests, the referee took no action.
Kaio then shot wide from twenty yards four minutes later and on the hour mark Nattapol received a yellow card for a rash challenge. From the resulting free-kick Siwarak made a great save ,low to his right before somehow managing to block the follow-up. Superb goalkeeping !!
Two minutes later Buriram had a free-kick of their own on the left which Kaio headed back and down for Weslley to send in a fierce shot which was just too high, though he will have been disappointed not to hit the target from ten yards. Buriram then brought on Jakkaphan for Theerathon and the midfielder immediately found himself free on goal but he sent his shot wide, though he was incorrectly flagged offside.
Twenty minutes from time Weslley was flattened on the right wing and Suchao’s low free-kick crept through the wall but the keeper saved comfortably. Seul-Ki was then shown a yellow card and when the free-kick on the right was swung in, the ball struck the crossbar before being cleared.
Siwarak had to be alert again in the eighty-third minute, turning yet another free-kick over the bar. Two minutes from time Anon came on for Weslley as Pattaya pushed forward ,looking for an equalizer. They almost got it in stoppage time when a right-wing cross was headed over the Buriram crossbar.
Anon then latched onto a short through-ball but just failed in his attempt to round the keeper. However, he was not to be denied as Buriram won the ball on the right and it reached Anon who superbly turned inside his marker before hitting a low shot through the advancing keeper’s legs. An excellent finish that any striker would have been proud of.
So 3-1, but it was not the performance that the fans were looking for and a huge improvement will be needed when Buriram face Sanfrecce Hiroshima on Tuesday night in the Champions League at Thunder Castle. Anon up front ? Maybe worth thinking about, seeing how accomplished his finishing has been in the last two games.