Southeast Asia Thailand

Prachuap Lift League Cup Trophy With Victory Over Buriram

Gian Chansrichawla

Football Tribe SEA Editor


After putting in a brave and bold fight for over two hours of football at the SCG Stadium, underdogs Prachuap emerged victorious to win the club’s first major trophy, beating out the nation’s most successful club Buriram United on spot-kicks.

Buriram were the clear favorites going into this match. However, their team sheet came as something of a surprise. The side reverted to an unfamiliar back four, the average age of their attacking players was just over 20 years old, and only two of their foreign imports were on the pitch.

The pressure was piled on to the Thunder Castle from the start. Having recently been eliminated from the FA Cup and being currently chased to the wire by a disciplined and determined Chiangrai side in the league, the side were staring down the prospect of a trophyless season for only the second time since their ‘creation’ a decade ago.

Prachuap, meanwhile, stood at the opposite end of the spectrum. This match constituted the first-ever cup final they have participated in, and a win would be the club’s first major honor and their second piece of silverware after they won the third division title in 2014.

While they were diametrically opposed in circumstance, there was very little difference in quality on the pitch. Buriram had the better of the chances in the first half but were unable to break past the Killer Wasps’ towering defensive pairing of Adnan Orahovac and Artyom Filiposyan.

This game appeared immediately to be one of major persona significance for Supachok Sarachat. The 21-year-old was looked upon as the leader in Buriram’s attacking line as he slinked and weaved into spaces looking to create chances and drive play forward. He teed up his younger brother Suphanat Mueanta in the dying minutes of the first half, but the 17-year-old’s effort slid just centimeters wide of the far post.

Coming out from the break, Buriram were hit with a sucker-punch right from the off as Buriram’s defense appeared a shambolic mess, allowing Siroch Chattong to find Maurinho in miles of space in the edge of the box. The Thunder Castle’s well-founded complaints of offside were ignored, and the orange-clad supporters behind the goal were sent into a frenzy when the Brazilian slammed in the shot at Siwarak Tedsungnoen’s near post.

Buriram’s young strike force responded well, turning up the heat yet another notch in attempting to break the Wasps’ door-bolt defense. Their reward finally came in the 72nd minute, when Sasalak Haiprakhon found Supachai Jaided in space. His diving header gave Prachuap keeper Nattapong Khajornmalee no chance and pegged the elated underdogs back to level terms.

Unsatisfied with the 1-1 scoreline, the defending league champions continued to press forward in search of a winner. However, even with the added half-hour to endure, Prachuap’s defense stood strong and pushed Buriram all the way to penalties.

Even in football’s great equalizer, Prachuap had to do it the hard way, missing their first penalty and going behind right from the start, with the added pressure of shooting second. Things were leveled again when Suphanat Mueanta missed his side’s third effort before the following players all managed to find the net, including Buriram goalkeeper Siwarak.

The fatal misstep finally came from left-back Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri, with the two sides tied at 7-7 in the shootout. Prachuap’s Seeket Madputeh was tasked with delivering the crown in front of Buriram’s jeering supporters, but the right-back struck his effort straight down the middle and into the back of the net.

Against all the odds, Prachuap lifted their first-ever trophy in only their second season of top-flight football, following up last season’s incredible 6th-place finish with an impressive piece of silverware and an effectively secure place in T1 next season.

As for Buriram, they have no time to sulk, as they return to league action on Wednesday with a home match against Nakhon Ratchasima. The side will need to be at their best with challenges from both Chiangrai and Port looking to steal their crown.

This victory is a testament to the incredible squad cohesion Prachuap have fostered under coach Tawatchai Damrong-Ongtrakul and is a fitting reward for a well-managed club heading in the right direction. Only time will tell what the future holds for them, but for now, the time is right for well-earned celebrations.