Buriram lost 2-1 to Seongnam in Korea in a game which hinged on two penalty incidents. The home side were awarded a spot-kick for handball in the first-half and Buriram were denied one in the second-half for a far more obvious one.
Buriram deserved a draw for their stirring second-half fight back but they now slip to third in the group and they must win their final game and hope that Seongnam beat Gamba Osaka.
The game began slowly, with both teams giving away possession.In the tenth minute a Seongnam free-kick hit the side netting but there was never any real danger. Three minutes later Buriram should have scored.
A right-wing free-kick found Tunez beyond the far post and his attempted volley went low across the face of the goal, needing only a touch but no Buriram player was in the danger area.
This has been a problem all season. Buriram do not have an instinctive finisher and this was highlighted in the seventeenth mkinute when Diogo had a great chance to open the scoring.
Tunez sent a long ball forward out of defence and Diogo muscled his way past two defenders before controlling the ball with his chest to leave himself with a one-on-one with the keeper.
Once again the Brazilian sent a weak low shot straight at the keeper,who saved with ease.This has happened far too often and Diogo needs to show more conviction with his finishing.
In the twenty-fifth minute Seongnam were awarded a hugely debatable penalty, much to everyone’s astonishment, including the Koreans.A right-wing cross was headed out to the edge of the area.
The ball was returned into the box where it struck the unfortunate Naruebodin on the arm. There was no movement towards the ball and in fact the young defender turned his head away.
There was one half-hearted appeal by a Korean but Buriram were left looking on in disbelief as the referee pointed to the spot. It really was a dreadful decision and it certainly changed the course of the game.
The Seongnam skipper dispatched the spot-kick into the corner, Siwarak going the wrong way. It is significant that the Korean celebrations were muted, almost like they felt embarrassed. It is the official who should be embarrassed.
Seongnam then took complete control of the game and pegged Buriram down in their own half.It came as no surprise when the Koreans doubled their advantage in the thirty-fifth minute.
Tunez gave away a needless free-kick wide on the Buriram left. When the cross came in TWO attackers were left completely unmarked and one of them powered a header past the helpless Siwarak.
This gave Buriram a mountain to climb and Seongnam were in total control. Just before the interval Diogo managed to win the ball down the left near the byline but sliced his attempted cross into the crowd.
There is no doubt that the penalty changed the game and Buriram were going to have to dig deep to get back into the match.
Buriram made a bright start and Seul-Ki headed a Theeraton corner over in the forty-sixth minute. Five minutes later Seongnam broke down the left and flashed a shot just wide of the post.
Tunez then had to head a dangerous cross over his own crossbar as the Koreans resumed control. After sixty-seven minutes a Buriram free-kick from the left found Suchao but his overhead kick was just wide.
Two minutes later Diogo latched onto a through ball but was brought down ten yards outside the box. Suchao struck the free-kick over the wall but unfortunately it was straight at the keeper.
Buriram were playing much better and got back into the game in the seventy-fifth minute. Tunez headed a right-wing Suchao corner back across goal and Diogo rose to send a good header into the corner of the net.
Buriram’s tails were now up and shortly after they should have been awarded a penalty. When a short cross came in a Seongnam defender stuck out an arm and deflected the ball away. It was an obvious penalty and the referee was only five yards away.
Inexplicably, he waved play on. What his reasoning was only he can say but it was another very bad decision which could cost Buriram dearly. Six minutes from time Anawin had a sight of goal but shot straight at the keeper.
The unusually quiet Macena then sent a header just wide and that was Buriram’s last chance. Although it wasn’t a great Buriram performance, they can still feel aggrieved.
The referee got two important decisions badly wrong and it certainly affected the result. However, it should not hide the fact that Buriram yet again failed to score from open play and they failed to make the keeper make an outstanding save.
The lack of goals is a serious problem and Buriram need to redress it, starting with Navy at home on Sunday April 26th, 6pm.