Southeast Asia Thailand

Buriram, Muangthong Play Out Classic in Draw

Thai League 1 giants Muangthong United and Buriram United played out an entertaining Thailand Clasico on Sunday, with the two rivals drawing 4-4 at Muangthong’s Thunderdome Stadium in Nonthaburi.

League leaders Buriram were caught off-guard in the opening 30 minutes of the match, swiftly going 3-0 down after a devastating display of attacking football from Muangthong. Eric Johana Omondi scored the opening goal in the 2nd minute for the Twin Qilins, before Poramet Arjvirai made it 2-0 in the 12th minute and Johana sent Buriram on course for their first league defeat of the season with Muangthong’s third goal in the 31st minute.

Buriram’s Suphanat Mueanta slashed the deficit in the 37th minute, but Muangthong ended the first half commanding a healthy 3-1 advantage.

Johana completed his hat-trick in the 47th minute to seemingly condemn Buriram to defeat, however the Thunder Castles had Lonsana Doumbouya to thank in the final 11 minutes of the game.

Former PT Prachuap striker Doumbouya sparked the comeback with a goal in the 79th minute, before a free-kick from Theerathon Bunmathan in the 83rd minute reduced the deficit even further.

With Muangthong scrambling to protect their slender lead, Buriram managed to salvage themselves a point in the third minute of injury time after a Suphanat cross was volleyed into Patiwat Khammai’s goal by Doumbouya.

Buriram head coach Masatada Ishii expressed his gratitude towards his players’ fighting spirit despite going 4-1 down early in the second half. Speaking to Bangkok Post, former Kashima Antlers boss Ishii said, “We lost concentration in the opening stages of the match and were punished. During the break, I told my players to keep playing and try to score goals. I’d like to thank them for their fighting spirit.”

An upset Mario Gjurovski, Muangthong’s head coach, told Bangkok Post, “I’m very disappointed by Thai football. I have been involved in Thai football for 11 years. I love Thai football and want to see it make progress. But why did the referee not dare to make decisions? Was he afraid of something?”

Two days after the match, Gjurovski tendered in his resignation from the club, with former Nakhon Ratchasima Mazda head coach Milos Joksic replacing the North Macedonian as caretaker head coach until the end of the season.

The solitary point from Sunday’s Thailand Clasico meant that Buriram remain top of the league, 19 points clear off True Bangkok United in 2nd place. Muangthong, on the other hand, are mid-table in 9th place, six points off relegation.