MATCH REPORT - MUANGTHONG UNITED VS. U.D. ALMERIA, THE LFP WORLD CHALLENGE
JULY 30, 2014, SCG STADIUM, 7 PM KICKOFF
Muangthong United produced a solid performance to earn a 1-1 tie with La Liga team U.D. Almeria. United's defense were strong and kept Almeria from earning any more than the one goal. The back line was strengthened with the return of two key central defenders, Erik Paartalu, and Kim Dong Jin. Up front Cleiton Silva was also handed the start, and this holds well for United's prospects.
Almeria controlled the game and had the lion's share of possession. The game was made more difficult when heavy rain poured down for most of the first half. Almeria were first to score at 18 minutes with a strike from the edge of the box that took a bounce off a defender and went in.
United came right back in attack however, and Milan Bubalo was fouled as he raced for the net, cutting in from the right hand side. The penalty was awarded, and Datsakon put it away to even up the score at 1-1.
United seemed to gain some confidence from this and the play was a little more even, though Almeria continued to have the better share of the ball. Nevertheless, a t the 32nd minute Mario curved on in from the left that went over the keeper's hands but hit the cross bar. Mario was to have another opportunity a few moments later, as did Cleiton Silva.
Datsanakon did not start the second half and instead Sarach Yuyen is placed into the midfield. During the second half Dragan Talajic would sub off most key players in order to give game time to some players who don't usually get to play. Despite this Muangthong held out Almeria's attack, and also found chances on net as well. Both teams struck the crossbar, but Kawin in particular had to be sharp.
Teerasil had his best chance at goal about the 72nd minute when the ball was cut back to him inside the box. He had time to place his shot, however Kawin was ready for it and made the save. A few minutes later Teerasil was subbed off as Almeria are keen to give many of their players some game time.
In the end United held on for the draw, and a respectable showing for this friendly match-up between partner teams.