Southeast Asia Thailand

Bolingi Scores Two, Sees Red as Buriram Clinch Treble

Buriram United have clinched a second consecutive domestic treble after seeing off True Bangkok United 2-0 in the 2022/23 Thai FA Cup final at the Thammasat Stadium on Saturday night. Jonathan Bolingi played the act of both protagonist and antagonist of the match, scoring both of Buriram’s goals before being sent-off right at the end of the match after engaging in a brawl with Bangkok United midfielder Rungrath Poomchantuek and the Angels’ fitness coach Rodrigo Squinalli.

Despite playing Saturday’s final at Bangkok United’s home ground, Buriram remain heavy favorites to win this year’s Thai FA Cup due to their ominous domestic form that saw them scoop up both the 2022/23 Thai League 1 trophy and the 2022/23 Thai League Cup silverware.

And true to the pundits’ prediction, Buriram started off strongly with Supachai Chaided firing over the crossbar early into the game.

Manuel Bihr then practically gifted Buriram the lead in the 18th minute after his back-pass to Bangkok United goalkeeper Michael Falkesgaard was intercepted by Bolingi, with the Congolese easily firing home to give the Thunder Castles the lead.

After Willen Mota came close to equalizing for Bangkok United, Bihr redeemed himself after he had blocked a Suphanat Mueanta shot from endangering Falkesgaard’s goal.

Bolingi then struck again in the third minute of stoppage time, heading home a Theerathon Bunmathan corner to seal the result and the Thai FA Cup trophy for Buriram.

An uneventful second half was marred in its dying seconds by an altercation between Bolingi and Rungrath, with the former grabbing the latter by the throat, prompting the referee to punish Bolingi with a red card. The angry Bolingi then confronted Rodrigo on his way out of the pitch, before landing a right hook on the Brazilian’s jaw.

Bolingi’s actions earned the wrath of Buriram chairman Newin Chidchob, who terminated the former Standard Liege player’s contract on Sunday.

“Jonathan Bolingi is a good player but he will not be continuing his career with the team next season because of his behavior,” said Newin, as quoted from Bangkok Post.

Newin then elaborated that Bolingi’s anger management issues had been plaguing Buriram since the Congolese international had joined the Thunder Castles back in 2021.

“He cannot control himself and we cannot control him. He cannot stay here because of his behavior. He has tarnished the image of the club in particular and Thai football in general,” Newin continued, “I told him to change his behavior but it seems he cannot do it.”

Meanwhile, Buriram head coach Masatada Ishii expressed his delight over his team’s accomplishments this season.

“We met the target,” said Ishii, “Before the season started, we targeted winning three trophies for two consecutive years and now we did it. This is a present for our fans.”

Ishii in particular heaped praise upon Supachai, who was Buriram’s top-scorer in the 2022/23 season.

“Supachai is the best player. He is a striker but also helps defend our goal,” said Ishii.

With new challenges awaiting Buriram in both the domestic and continental fronts, Ishii told Bangkok Post that Buriram will bring in some fresh reinforcements for the new season.