SCG Muangthong United overcome a determined Ratchaburi Mitr Phol F.C. to claim 3 points with a 2-1 victory, much to the delight of the 9,000+ fans at the SCG Stadium. The win means Muangthong United are in 7th place, an amazing recovery from the calamity of the first half of the season.
Goals came early on from Heberty Fernandes (2'), and then late in the game with Aung Thu (80'). With a red card issued to one of their key goal scorers, 'The Dragons' struggled for a path to the net, but were able to get one back with a few minutes to go.
Coach Gama elected to play the same starting XI featured in last week's win over Chiang Rai, allowing rest and rotation as a double game week looms, with the Kirin in action again in just four days time.
Wattana Playnum, Saringkam. Patcharapol, and Sanukran all started the match along with regular
starters Dang Van Lam in goal, Oh Ban Suk at centre back, Suphanan to the right back, and in the left back role Bruno Gallo, midfielders Charyl Chappuis and Heberty, with Derley the other forward.
Within two minutes the Kirin were on the scoreboard with Heberty Fernandes picking off a poor pass from Thai international defender Pawee Tanthatemee, charging forth into the box and sliding the low shot at the far post.
The game continued at a fast pace, with both teams generating chances, and Muangthong sometimes looking a little shaky against the speed of France international Steeven Langil on one side, and Philip Roller on the other.
Kirin defender Suphanan was solid, however, not allowing the Frenchman near goal. In fact with solid defensive work across the team, Ratchaburi were thwarted, often taking out their frustrations on the referee.
This intensity came to a head by the 60th minute when Langil was brought down, and he lashed out at Sanukran, although the foul was actually from Patcharapol. Langil responded by first giving Sanukran a two-handed shove, and then grabbing him by the scruff of the shirt. It was a display of poor sportsmanship from Langil and he drew a yellow card as he continued to argue. A few minutes later Langil once again retaliated, this time pushing Saringkan to the pitch, earning his second yellow and expulsion from the match.
Aware of the need to rest players, Sarach Yooyen, and then Myanmar sensation Aung Thu entered the match, only his second appearance under Coach Alexandra Gama.
Playing with 10 men, Ratchaburi were vulnerable, and the Kirin were to take advantage at the 80th minute, when Aung Thu hit one into the open side for the 2-0 lead. The goal developed after Heberty Fernandes, who leads the league on assists, slid the pass across the the box to find Aung Thu, who then eluded defenders, moving the ball to his right foot for the shot. Aung Thu, who recently became a father, said after the match, "This goal I would like to dedicate to my son."
Ratchaburi made it 2-1 a few minutes later after a free kick sailed into the box and onto the foot of Jun Soo who was moving towards goal.
But the Dragons ran out of time, and SCG Muangthong United claim 3 points and jump into seventh spot in the table.
The Kirin have just a few days to prepare for their next match, Wednesday July 31st, against Chainat FC, once again at the SCG Stadium. It'll be a double game week, with the following Saturday the Kirin at home against Nakhonratchasima FC.