Buriram went top of the league for the first time this season when they won 3-1 at Chainat. First-half goals by Diogo (2) and Tunez gave them a 3-0 interval lead. Although the home team fought back in the second-half, Buriram held on.
Buriram got off to a great start, taking the lead in the fourth minute with a well-rehearsed free-kick routine. Everyone was expecting Theeraton to shoot but instead he floated the ball over to the far post.
The Chainat defence failed to pick up Suchau’s well-timed run and the Buriram skipper headed the ball back across goal for Tunez to head in just inside the post.
After twelve minutes Suchao set Macena free in the left of the box but from a tight angle the Brazilian put the ball just wide of the far post. Four minutes later Macena was free again but he was halted by an assistant’s flag. TV replays suggested he was onside.
However, Buriram were not to be denied and they increased their lead in the twenty-fourth minute. The ball was pulled back from the byline to the unmarked Diogo twelve yards out.
He calmly controlled the ball before coolly placing the ball in the corner of the net with the keeper rooted to the spot. A very well-taken goal.
Four minutes later Chainat should have pulled one back when they were clean through on goal but shot wide from fifteen yards with only Siwarak to beat.
On the half-hour mark Siwarak turned a powerul shot over the bar. At the other end the Chainat keeper tried to stop a ball that was going out for a goalkick and the ball spun off his hand and almost reached the lurking Diogo.
A minute later Macena, under pressure, just couldn’t get enough power in his shot to trouble the keeper. Macena was through again shortly after and went for glory when a pull-back was needed and the chance was gone.
Chainat had another great chance in the thirty-seventh minute when they broke clear of the Buriram defence again, only for Siwarak to spread himself and save with his legs.
A minute later Macena shot into the side-netting from a difficult angle. However, Buriram did grab their third four minutes before the interval. The ball was headed forward from midfield.
Macena was onto it in a flash and got to the byline. He looked up before picking out Diogo with a perfect pull-back and the Brazilian’s finish was a formality. So a healthy three goal lead at the half-time.
Prakit came on for Seul-Ki for the second-half. The home side almost got a goal back immediately when a free header from a right-wing cross went narrowly wide. Diogo then latched onto a through ball, only to be flagged offside. Again, replays suggested the official got it wrong.
Diogo was looking for his hat-trick and was only just wide after a free-kick from the left.Buriram were almost gifted a fourth when the keeper fumbled a free-kick floated into the box and Tunez instinctively stuck out a leg but the ball went just wide.
After sixty-two minutes Surat came on for Namwiset and two minutes later Suchao received a yellow card. The Buriram captain was lucky not to receive a red immediately after when he was guilty of pulling a player back.
Suchao was then replaced by Krutyai. Chainat were on top for much of the second-half and it came as no surprise when they eventually pulled a goal back. The Buriram defence was split yet again but this time the ball was hammered into the roof of the net from sixteen yards.
In the seventy-second minute Jakkraphan set Macena clear but his powerful shot was touched over by the keeper. Two minutes later Prakit got clear but the keeper dived at his feet to collect the ball.
Diogo then received a yellow card for a needless challenge before Buriram carved out another good chance. Good play down the right set Macena free who then pulled the ball back tor the unmarked Prakit.
A measured finish was all that was required but for the third game in a row Prakit went for power and the ball crashed against the angle of post and bar.
Two minutes from time the Chainat keeper saved a Tunez header from a left-wing corner and in stoppage time Siwarak saved a Chainat free-kick.
It looked a comfortable victory but Buriram sat back in the second-half instead of going for more goals and sending out a message to the rest of the league. Perhaps the loss of the influential Seul-Ki was a contributary factor.
Also, yet again Buriram proved vulnerable to the counter-attack and Chainat got clear on goal four times. Three at the back is always a risk. Tunez is very solid but is not the quickest of defenders. A central defensive partner would provide the extra cover that seems to be very much needed.
Gamba Osaka had two chances in the recent Champions League game and buried both of them. Buriram cannot afford to give the Chinese any chances in the must-win home game on Wednesday. Note kick-off is 5.15pm.
Before that Buriram welcome Bangkok United to Thunder Castle on Saturday May 2nd, 7pm.