Muangthong United was defeated 3-1 playing away from home against leaders Bangkok United at the True Stadium, Revo Thai League Matchday 14.
The Kirin entered the match without a loss in four games and on the back of a 2-0 home victory the previous weekend. Yet the flurry of games leading up to the season’s halfway point has taken its toll, and Muangthong United was without defensive captain Lucas Rocha.
Other changes to the lineup included Marco Ballini joining Chatchai Saengdao in central defence. Poramet Arjivrai was given the start in the attack, Teeraphol in the midfield, and Suporn at left-back in an out-of-position role for the tight footed sharpshooter.
The prospects did not look promising for Muangthong United, playing against some of the best goal-scoring talents in the league. However, a boost arrived early on when Bangkok United’s Peerapat received a red card after a VAR review revealed he slammed hard into the left ankle of Willian Popp; this tackle could have led to severe injury.
Yet it was Bangkok United first onto the scoreboard. With both teams creating chances throughout the half, at the 30th minute Heberty Fernandes spun to his right and unleashed a rocket-of-a-drive from a distance. The sudden shot was too much for Muangthong United keeper, Peerapaong, to contain.
Heberty Fernandes is a Thai League veteran. The Brazilian has played for four different clubs, including two seasons with Muangthong United.
Muangthong took advantage of the additional player and eventually were able to equalise. Willian Popp headed the cross towards goal, and the ball came to Teeraphol, who finished quickly from close in.
Moments later, however, Bangkok United went up 2-1 on a header from Everton. The goal came about on a free-kick, following a foul by Muangthong United’s Ballini, for which he was yellow-carded. Heberty lofted the ball into the box, and Everton, who had come forward for the attempt, had a free header at goal.
Throughout the match, Muangthong United has six yellow cards, including a double to defender Boontawee.
Fernandes added a second goal at the 55th minute. Left alone at the edge of the box, Fernandes moves the ball to his favoured left foot and slotted home the shot.
With the yellow cards flashing furiously in Muangthong’s eyes, Bangkok United proceeded to defend deep. During this time, Muanghtong United dominated possession and created several good chances to score.
During the final 15 minutes, the Kirin unleashed a dozen shots at goal, either saved by Michael Falkesgaard, blocked, or hit wide. Falkesgaard is the Philippines national team keeper, has been with Bangkok United in the Thai League for four seasons, and has represented both the Philippines and Denmark.
Willian Popp had a great chance to score during the final few minutes; however, his shot was blocked accidentally by the arm of teammate Adisak Kriason. Popp hit the rebound off the crossbar before the play halted on account of the handball.
The yellow cards will present a challenge for next Saturday’s home match. Chatchai Saeingdao picked up his fourth of the season and will have to sit out the game. Both of Muanghtong United’s starting centre backs will be missing.
Before then, the club will compete in the next round of the FA Cup, a midweek match in the tiny province of Maha Sarakham, located in the heart of Thailand’s famous Isan region. Head Coach Mario Gjurovski will likely look to the young academy players in the squad to bring home the victory.