Buriram defeated local rivals Nakhon Ratchasima ( Korat from now on !) 1-0 in a game they dominated from start to finish. The visitors who are struggling at the bottom of the table rarely looked like scoring against a Buriram defence which, apart from a couple of bouts of lack of concentration, looked solid.
The only real concern was that yet again, countless chances were squandered and Diogo must be champing at the bit to return and get the Buriram goal machine running again. Korat were very physical and once again young Supachok came in for some harsh treatment.
Suree moved to centre-back for Tunez who was suspended and Nattapol came into the midfield. Buriram started well and moved the ball about a little more like the Buriram of old. They created a good opening when Surat sent Nattapol away down the right and he delivered a good cross for Suchao to meet on the volley but the shot lacked real power and the keeper saved with his leg.
Another good chance went begging when Sathaporn curled in a right-wing free-kick to the near post but Kaio was unable to direct his header on target.
Buriram took the lead in the fifteenth minute when they won the ball just inside their own half and some neat one-touch football saw it reach Narubadin wide right. He then sent over a low cross which Seul-Ki met first time on the edge of the area to send a stunning strike into the top-right corner of the net.
Not long after Surat played a neat one-two with Seul-Ki before sending over a good right-wing cross but Kaio mis-timed his leap and the chance was gone.
Buriram were close to increasing their lead when Supachok’s shot came off a defender to completely wrong-foot the keeper but the ball struck the bar and rebounded to safety.
Apart from a few long-range efforts, little had been seen of the visitor’s attack but they almost snatched a surprise equalizer when Siwarak failed to hold a well-struck low shot and the ball rebounded to a Korat attacker who appeared to be impeded by Surat. Fortunately, the referee saw nothing amiss.
Just before the interval Buriram were close to adding a second when following a right-wing cross, Supachok found Kaio with a lovely back-heel only for the keeper to pull off a briliant save.
Buriram certainly deserved their half-time lead but as stated many times before, one goal is never enough and this game really should have been put to bed.
Early in the second-half Buriram were a whisker away from doubling their advantage when Kaio allowed a right-wing cross to run on to Seul-Ki and the Korean hit a shot with the outside of his right-foot which struck the inside of the far-post and somehow rebounded to safety.
Supachok then came close when after the ball was played down the middle, he collected it just on the edge of the area and tried to curl a right-foot shot into the top corner but it was inches wide.
Buriram were using the flanks to greater effect in this game and Sathaporn sent over a delightful left-wing cross which found Kaio but the Brazilian headed straight at the keeper.
Shortly after, Sathaporn sent over an inviting free-kick on the left , but Chaowat failed to hit the target with his header from close range.
The home side saw out the rest of the game with few alarms to claim a precious three points. The margin of victory should have been considerably more but there were signs that Buriram are on the way back. The most encouraging aspect of the game was seeing Seul-Ki dominating the midfield at last and looking dangerous when he pushed forward.
Supachok again showed that he is developing into a player who is going to cause problems for defenders for many years to come and when Anon returns it will give the midfield two exciting young players who are capable of scoring goals.
Next game: League Cup Nong Khai (A) Wednesday June 8