A first-half Macena strike was enough to give Buriram a 1-0 victory over injury-hit Suphanburi.The visitors were without several key players,including former Buriram favourite Carmelo, and could only muster three outfield substitutes. This meant they came in the hope of getting a point by getting men behind the ball from the off.
Buriram were not at their best,though they had enough chances to make the game safe but failed to take them. At the end Suphanburi were struggling to keep eleven players on their feet as a number of them were suffering from cramp but they almost snatched an unlikely point in stoppage time.
Buriram came close to grabbing an early lead when Seul Ki met Theerathon’s right-wing corner in the fifth minute at the near post to send a header towards the far corner. However, the keeper instinctively threw up a hand to divert the ball to safety.
Three minutes later a lovely piece of individual skill by Diogo saw him flick the ball over his own head before meeting the dropping ball on the volley with the outside of his right boot but it sailed inches wide of the post.
Anawin then set Macena away with a good ball down the right in the fourteenth minute but the cross was dsappointing and easily cut out. Anawin was then replaced by Narubadin,presumably due to an injury. Macena then sent over another low cross shortly after and when the ball came out to Jakkaphan he hit his shot way over the bar.
Buriram had a good penalty claim refused in the twentieth minute when Seul Ki was flattened from behind in the box as he went up for a high ball. The decision was puzzling to say the least !! Five minutes later Theerathon sent over a good cross from the left which found Macena but the striker just couldn’t keep his shot down.
Seul Ki was brought down from behind in the twenty-eighth minute and when the free-kick was headed out ,it found Macena but he sent in a weak shot which was straight at the keeper. Tunez was unlucky to receive a yellow card in the thirty-third minute after he was forced to make a covering tackle following a mistake by Nukoolkit.
The resulting free-kick was well-struck and flew inches over the bar though Siwarak had it well-covered. Buriram finally broke the deadlock in the thirty-sixth minute and it was a beauty. Jakkaphan found Macena with a lovely ball into the box and the Brazilian controlled it before turning and hammering a shot past the helpless keeper.
Macena nearly got through again just before the interval following a neat one-two with Diogo but he was halted by a good tackle from a covering defender. Once again Buriram went in at half-time with a narrow lead though Suphanburi had been non-existent as an attacking force.
Buriram should have made the game safe in the opening minute of the second-half. Macena’s persistence saw him dispossess a defender in the area and when the ball was turned across goal from the left, the inrushing Diogo had the simple task of putting the ball into the empty net at the far post from five yards but screwed his shot wide.
Buriram put together a good move with a patient build-up in the fifty-fourth minute but from the cross from the right, Diogo was unable to get any real power into his header.
A minute later both Diogo and Macena were flattened thirty yards out in a fairly central position. Suchao took the kick and the keeper turned the well-struck shot away to his left. The ball fell perfectly for Seul Ki but the Korean fired wide.
On the hour mark a swift Buriram break saw Diogo get to the byline down the left but no-one was able to take advantage of his dangerous cross. Five minutes later a great Siwarak throw set Diogo completely free down the right but the hit-man fluffed his cross completely.
Shortly after Diogo almost sent Macena clear but he was just beaten to the ball by the alert keeper. Koravit was then replaced by Supachok. Buriram were in total control and the visitors were rarely getting over the half-way line. In the seventy-fifth minute Diogo got to the byline down the left but failed to look up and wasted his cross.
Ten minutes from time the tirelless Macena was replaced by Sittichok and almost immediately a long ball gave the striker a shooting chance but his low shot was no real problem for the keeper. Right at the death Sittichok sent a downward header into the ground and the ball bounced harmlessly over the bar.
It is often said in football that one goal is never enough and Buriram almost paid a heavy price for their failure to kill off their shattered opponents in the second minute of stoppage time. Suphanburi dragged themselves upfield to win a corner on the left and when the cross came over they were allowed a free header which flashed narrowly past the post.
It would have been a travesty had Buriram not won the game but they should have done it in a canter. It wasn’t as if the keeper had performed heroics, he wasn’t required to make any outstanding saves. It is never easy against teams who show hardly any attacking ambition but Buriram need to be more clinical in front of goal.
Buriram now face a tricky trip to in-form Chonburi on Wednesday August 19 , 19.00 before welcoming Chiangrai on Saturday August 22 ,18.00.