On a night when Thai Premier League rivals Chonburi were hammered 9-0 at F.C. Tokyo, SCG Muangthong United held their own against a team of highly paid super stars, losing 3-0, but gaining the respect of world football.
SCG Muangthong United began the match well and even threatened inside the first 20 minutes, and their defenders put quick pressure on the SIPG strikers, with Peerapat and Suphan managing to contain Ghanaian superstar and national team captain Asamoah Gyan. The play was mainly held in the midfield, with Sarach Yuyen and Chanathip working well as a team.
SIPG were to have only a few moments early on to get into the box, and perhaps the best chance for the hosts came at the 17th minute when Wu Lei was fed a ball in behind Suphan, however Kawin was off his line and made the grab before any shot could be given. The Muanghtong keeper's efforts were outstanding and kept the club in the match right up until the final moments.
As the half progressed SIPG F.C. gradually dominated, and by the end of the first half had made 10 shots on net, including a hit off the bar at the 40th minute, and Gyan missed an easy shot from the rebound.
At times the Muangthong defenders looked strong, with Peerapat making key stops when needed, however defensive errors began to appear with the constant attack from Shanghai.It looked as if Muangthong United would escape the first half without dropping a goal, yet at the 44th minute Wu Lei, with plenty of room and time, drove a low shot past Kawin at the left post.
The second half saw SCG Muangthong come out aggressive and dominating, and within the first 4 minutes had two attempts towards the net, though wide. A few moments later a defensive mix up and Cleiton Silva forces the save. Then Junior Negrao hit one off the post after a clever ball in from Sarach Yuyen.
With the better pressure SCG Muangthong United had a couple of corner kicks, and then a great ball in to Cleiton, but this time the shot was over the bar. Coach Totchtawan looking to spark an attack subbed in midfielder Kasidech for Thitiphan, and Chananan Pombuppha for Junior Negrao, at the 64th minute.
SIPG, as in the first half, began to press as the match came to an end. The Muangthong defence were caught upfield a couple of times, allowing 4-on-3 rushes. The result was at the 80th minute Conca was able to toe punt a cross into the goal, making it 2-0 for SIPG. Likewise, a few moments later Wu Lei gets his second goal with an easy first time volley as he was left unmarked in the box.
The key player of the match for SIPG was Wu Lei, with his two goals and assist, and for SCG Muangtong United the national keeper Kawin Thamsatchanan proved his worth. Aditionally Sarach Yuyen and "The Thailand Messi" Chanathip Songkrasin were remarkable in the midfield. It's notable that the key players were not the highly paid foreigners such as Gyan, but the Asian nationals on the pitch.
SCG Muangthong United will now play in the AFC Cup, a title currently held by Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim, a team the Kirin have already beaten 3-0.
Muangthong United's next match however will be Friday Feb. 12th as SCG Muangthong United will host Bectero Sasana F.C. in the next match of the Leo Pre-Season Cup.