Toyota Mekong Club Championship : Final Round Leg 2 SCG Muangthong United 4-0 Sanna Khanh Hoa BVN FC
Almost 11,000 fans were present to see Muangthong United lift their first Mekong Club Championship title at the Supachalasai Stadium after an emphatic 7-1 victory over Vietnamese side Sanna Thanh Hoa FC.
The Kirin fielded a strong lineup, giving fans a taste of what could be in store for the upcoming season. Wattana Playnum deputized at right back as the team were short staffed in the defensive positions. Coach Totchtawan Sripan needed to reinvent his back line with Adisorn Promrak, Tristan Do and Naoki Aoyama all out with injuries.
Both sides came close to finding the net within the opening five minutes, with Theerathon making a timely intervention to prevent Sanna from taking the lead before Vietnamese goalkeeper Nguyen Tan Dien denied Sarach Yooyen. Muangthong were given a free-kick just outside the penalty box in the 13th minute when Heberty was bought down by a hefty challenge from Vietnamese defender Nguyen Tan Dien, but the Kirin were unable to make the most of the opportunity.
Sanna were given an opportunity to take the lead when Wattana Playnum bought down Lam Ti Phong in the penalty box, with Singaporean referee Sukhbir Singh pointing to the spot. Sanna striker Toure Youssouf stepped up but was denied with an excellent save from Kawin Thammsatchanan.
The goalkeeper’s heroics spurred the Kirin on, as the home side continued to commit more men forward in hopes of scoring the opener and increasing their aggregate lead. Wattana himself put in an excellent cross moments later, but Adisak Kraisorn failed to connect with the header. The game was scoreless going into the second half, with Muangthong maintaining a two-goal aggregate lead due their victory in the first leg.
Sarach once again demonstrated why he was sorely missed during his injury-ridden spell last season, consistently making excellent runs into the opposition’s area and furthering Muangthong’s attacking advances with his excellent technical ability. When the Kirin won a free kick at the edge of the penalty area, Sarach’s cross found it’s way to the back-post, where Adisak was on hand to apply the finishing touch and put the hosts ahead.
Muangthong doubled their advantage shortly after, as Thossawat Limwannasathian found the back of the net after an excellent passage of play from his teammates. Captain Teerasil Dangda put the game beyond doubt when he slipped past the the Sanna defense after an excellent through ball from Heberty, beating the offside trap and sliding the ball behind the Vietnamese goalkeeper. An excellent effort from Siroch Chattong wrapped up the victory, putting the hosts 4 goals to the good to make the final score 7-1 on aggregate.
Kirin head coach Tochtawan Sripan commented, “Sanna were quite strong in the first half,” before adding that he was “very proud of the team today,” as the win, “gives them confidence going in to the season.”
The game provided an excellent opportunity to prepare the squad for the upcoming campaign, which includes a crucial AFC match against Malaysian champions Johor Darul Takzim on the 23rd this month, and the domestic season which is set to kick off on the 9th of February.