SCG Muangthong United were victorious in their first home match of the season, dominating Sukhothai F.C. 1-0. Though there was only the one goal in the match, the Kirin were clearly out performing last year's FA Cup champions.
Coach Totchtawan Sripan was forced to rest key striker Cleiton Silva ahead of pending transfer news, and tweaked the lineup with Chanathip Songkrasin playing in a more forward position. Likewise, Thai national team captain Theerathon moved forward into the midfield, with Peerapat getting the start at left back.
Otherwise the team that started were the same squad that opened the season last week with a 4-0 away win over Bangkok Glass.
The Kirin dominated play for the first half yet no goal was to come from the effort. Sukhothai FC played every man back, and despite more than a dozen balls crossed into the box, a path to the net was not to be found.
Xisco came close at the 23rd minute with a clever quick shot towards the far post, but Sukhothai's keeper Pairot Eiam-mak was able to get enough of the ball to prevent a goal. A few minutes later what looked like a sure goal was denied again by Pairot, who shot out the right arm just in time to knock Sarach Yooyen's header out for a corner kick.
Said Coach Totchtawan Sripan, "Sukhothai put up a strong defensive line, and we struggled to find a way through."
The second half continued with the same domination, and the goal was not long to follow. A ball in to the box from a free kick at the 52nd minute saw Aoyama and Xisco all go up for the header, and according to officials it was Aoyama who connected for the goal. Though after the match Aoyama said, "There was no touch, it wasn't me."
A second goal was nearly earned shortly after with a strong effort from Teerasil to feed a small pass out to Chanathip whose shot was just past the top corner.
Worrying for SCG Muangthong United however will be the condition of Sarach Yooyen who was upended as he charged for the box. South Korean Lee Ho was handed his debut, but fans will be eager to learn how serious the injury.
With Sarach out of the match, the midfield domination faltered, however the Kirin were able to stay solid and shut down the last minute rally from Sukhothai F.c. to earn the 3 points.
Fans also expressed their respect and honoured Cleiton Silva, who subbed in for the last 10 minutes, in his final match with the Kirin. The details of Silva's transfer are still to be announced, but fans showed their appreciation for his contribution to the club.