SCG Muangthong United drew 1-1 in perhaps the most important match of the season against league leaders Buriram United.
With the result the Kirin remain four points back, and are just two points ahead of third place Bangkok United. It was a heart breaking result given that the Kirin were the better team and had the most scoring opportunities, but a moment of defense error was the undoing.
The first half saw SCG Muangthong United with the better chances at goal. Heberty Fernandes had the first shot on net as he charged towards the box from the midfield. The tasty rebound was just out of reach of Tristan Do. Heberty was also behind another solid attempt, chasing the ball to the left of the goal, and then firing the high angle shot that was barely wide, and also almost knocked in by Adisak Krisorn.
Coach Totchtawan started a new look in the midfield with Chappuis along with Wattana, and the Kirin were able to control the flow of play. Wattana made several key interceptions, while Chappuis delivered the ball well, often out to the left towards Theerathon Bunmathan.
Rounding out the starting line up were the stalwart centre backs Celio Santos and Naoaki Aoyama, and Leandro Assumpcao played a forward role, pairing up with Theerathon down the left side.
Buriram's best chance of the half came when Rafael Bastos struck hard from a wide angle, forcing Kawin into the only required save of the first half.
Yet the Kirin were put on the back foot minutes into the second half when Buriram United scored off a long distance free kick. Keeper Kawin and the defense prepared hard against the header, but when the kick was hit long were unable to back track to stop the ball lobbing into the goal. It was a clear and very costly defense error.
SCG Muangthong United continued to have scoring opportunities but were unable to connect. A 2-on-1 break at the 60th minute with Leandro and Teerasil charging forward ended up with nothing as Leandro decided to cut back and ran into defenders.
Heberty fired another hard shot towards the goal from outside the box, through a crowd, but straight into the arms of Siwarak who had the time to set up for it.
Coach Totchtawan looked to increase the goal scoring potential by subbing in Siroj Chatthong for Adisak close to the 70th minute.
Finally, at the 87th minute, Tristan Do lifted in a cross from the right and Leandro Assumpcao headed in the equalizing goal. The remaining minutes of the match all belonged to SCG Muangthong United as they sought the go-ahead goal, but ran out of time and had to settle for single point.
The Kirin now have a break in action as the national team will take part in the annual King's Cup tournament. The matches will be played at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok. As hosts, Thailand will compete with teams from Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Then SCG Muangthong United will play a friendly fixture (team to be announced soon), before a League Cup match with Bangkok Glass F.C. on July 26th, 2017.
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