There are TEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THIS MATCH!!
SCG Muangthong United are about to do battle with Japan's #1 team, the Kashima Antlers, February 28th, 19:30, at the Supachalasai Stadium. There are four teams competing in Group E of the AFC Champions League, and Thursday's match brings together the top teams from Thailand and Japan.
(1) This is an historic encounter. It represents the first time the top two teams from Japan and Thailand have competed in the AFC Champions League. It signals to Asia the rise of Thai football.
(2) The Kashima Antlers are the most successful team ever in the history of Japanese professional football, having won the league title 8 times.
(3) The Antlers have a lot of quality, and their squad has represented Japan's national team, and also players have competed in European leagues, including their foreign players, such as Leandro.
(4) SCG Muangthong United's dynamic midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin will be moving to the J-League later this season to play with Consadole Sapporo, further proof of how Thai footballers are noticed and competitive internationally. This match will be a preview of how Chanathip will measure up in the J-League.
(5) The timing is right! SCG Muangthong United have five matches remaining in the group stage of the Champions League. It is fortunate to be playing Kashima Antlers at this stage, early in the season. The Kirin are entering the match with confidence after the away match draw with Australia's Brisbane Roar. If the club cold manage a win, this will bode well for progress to the next round.
(6) Muangthong United's Japanese central defender Naoaki Aoyama has extensive experience playing in the J-League. Before joining the Kirin, he spent ten years with the league, playing for Shimizu S-Pulse, Yokohama, and then Ventforet Kofu. Aoyama also represented Japan in the 2006 Asian Games, and has competed with AC Milan. It will be thrilling to see how Aoyama performs playing against his countrymen.
(7) Lee Ho reunion! SCG Muangthong United's new defensive midfielder has tremendous experience in the AFC Champions League, having won the title last season with his club Jeonbuk Hyundai. In addition, Lee Ho's team mate at the time was goal keeper Kwoun Sun-tae, who now plays for Kashima and will likely get the start in Tuesday's match!
(8) The quality of Kashima Antlers is revealed in that the club were the runner-ups in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup. Kashima competed will in the competiton, and in the final match last December were faced with Real Madrid. Though Kashima were to lose the match 4-2, the game went into extra time, and it required Christian Ronaldo to secure the win by scoring a brace.
(9) Kashima Antlers are led by Masatada Ishii. This was a change in direction for the team last season, after the club had relied on a series of Brazilian born coaches for the ten previous seasons. However, when Ishii took over the club, they were J-League champions and runner-ups in= the FIFA Club World Cup. No surprise that Masatada Ishii was appointed J-League Manager of the year in 2016.
(10) Finally, this is a match not to be missed as it's likely to sell out, and tickets will be hard to come by.
Thus, for those able to attend the match, they will have claimed being a part of history in the making! Ticket prices are 200, 300, or 400 baht, which is an incredible bargain considering the prestige and importance of this match!
Tickets available at Thai Ticket Major outlets or online. If not sold out tickets will be sold at the stadium on matchday.