The professional rivalry between these two clubs, the two teams that have dominated Thai professional football since the league began, was once again evident in a spectacular match in front of 33,325 spectators at the iMobile Stadium in Buriram.
Coach Totchtawan started the same 11 that shut out Sisaket FC 4-0 just a few days ago at the SCG Stadium. One relief to MTUTD fans was Naokai Aoyama was fit after the knock he received on his goal late in the match.
Muangthong opened the scoring at the eighth minute. Teerasil Dangda lifted a cross into the box, nodded on by Adisak and then Cleiton ran onto the ball and tapped it in, his seventh of the season.
SCG Muangthong United kept up the pressure and turning over the ball, leading to a quick second goal at the 16th minute. Teerasil found himself one-n-one with the keeper, and the save went towards the left corner. The ball was sent back in to the six yard box, off the defender, and onto the boot of Adisak who had tracked in after it for the close in goal.
SCG Muangthong United had the majority of possession, though Buriram United fought to move the ball forward to the box several times. The Kirin back four did well to dispossess the attackers, or got onto the crosses first and clear the ball forward.
By the 35th minute, however, Buriram were now the team dominating possession, and MTUTD were resorting to clearances to the halfway line.
Yet SCG Muangthong United were powerful on the counter attack, and this was evident at the 38th minute. It began with great run down the left side from Chanathip, eluding two tackles to slide the ball across to Cleiton Silva, who kept his patience and tucked the ball into the bottom right of the net.
Not surprisingly Buriram United began the second half determined to come back. The play became much more physical, and three yellow cards were handed out in the first 9 minutes of the second half, two of them to Buriram.
Buriram pressured the play for most of the half but could not find a way through the Muangthong defenders. National team goal keeper Kawin Thamsatchanan was pivotal, blocking shots and pulling crosses out of the air. Centre backs Naoaki Aoyama, and Spain’s Mario Abrante, also blocked shots and cleared passes from the box, time and again.
The game continued to be physical, and the Buriram players clearly frustrated took the game to new physical lengths. Sarach Yooyen had to be stretchered off late in the match, a worry for Muangthong United. Several yellow cards were to follow, and the referee had to frequently stop the play for fouls.
In extra time Buriram forward Weslley Smith, took a second yellow and was ejected from the match.
At the final whistle SCG Muangthong United had signalled to the league who the new champions might be after ending Buriram United’s 44 game streak without a loss.
SCG Muangthong United will have little time to mend their wounds, however, as the next battle looms on Sunday May 1st when Chonburi FC visits the SCG Stadium.