It’s finally here, the biggest game marked on every year’s Thai League (T1) calendar – Buriram vs Muangthong. Although both of these teams have usually established a comfortable position at the top of the table by Matchday 11, the trend has changed as far as the 2020 meeting is concerned.
The Thunder Castle, Buriram United, sit outside of the top 10 spots in the T1 table with only 11 points, having already played nine games. For the visitors, it’s not a whole lot better, as they sit a spot above their rivals with only two more points.
A win for the hosts would mean that Buriram make it back into the top 10, allowing Alexandre Gama to get one over his ‘former’ club, where he was head coach less than two weeks ago. On the other hand, if the Kirins pick up all three points, it will be the club’s first away league win at the Chang Arena since 2016 and Mario Gjurovski’s first victory over a team he was never able to beat as a player.
There’s been so much drama between these two sides on and off the pitch over the years. Today, let’s take a trip down memory lane and go through ‘The 5 Most Memorable Buriram vs Muangthong Games’
No. 1 – August 1, 2015 (Buriram 2-2 Muangthong)
Late drama, a dance off, beautiful team goals – this game had all of those. None other than Muangthong’s current head coach, Mario, opened things up on that night with a header just over ten minutes into the game. His infamous ‘worm’ celebration would then be replicated by Diogo Luis Santo and his Buriram teammates after completing the 2-1 comeback with not long to go. But the celebrations out in the northeast had to be put to a halt as Thitiphan Puangchan’s cross found a sliding Cleiton Silva who sealed a point for the Kirins.
No. 2 – April 27, 2016 (Buriram 0-3 Muangthong)
A significant game with a historic result. Coming into the 2016 season, Muangthong went ‘all out’ to secure the likes of Chanathip Songkrasin, Tanaboon Kesarat and Peerapat Notchaiya from Tero. In addition, Tristan Do, Adisorn Promrak and Adisak Kraisorn’s arrivals only bolstered the Kirins’ ‘Dream Team’ side. The streak which saw them NEVER winning against Buriram ended as Cleiton’s double and Adisak’s effort put salt into the wounds of a Buriram side which was outplayed. A night to remember for all Muangthong fans. One to forget if you’re a Thunder Castle die-hard.
No. 3 – April 3, 2017 (Buriram 2-0 Muangthong)
Theerathon Bunmathan’s first time returning to the New I-mobile Stadium (now Chang Arena) as a Muangthong player did not end in his favor. Of course, it was the most anticipated match in 2017 because of all the off-field issues that went on between Theerathon and Buriram, and nobody wanted to miss it. Surprisingly, Theerathon was involved early on but for the wrong reason as his foul on Diogo led to a free kick which resulted in Jaja Coelho’s headed effort giving Buriram the 1-0 lead. Buriram’s captain Suchao Nuchnum made sure all three points were staying in Isan as his effort made it 2-0 with around five minutes remaining.
No. 4 – May 4, 2018 (Buriram 4-0 Muangthong)
Outclassed. Outplayed. Outscored. These three words best describe the state of Muangthong after losing 4-0 away to their biggest rivals. Buriram were miles ahead of every tackle, every loose ball and every battle on the pitch that evening in 2018. Diogo got the double, after Yoo Jun-soo gave the hosts an early lead. Korrakot Wiriyaudomsiri’s 87th-minute effort then made it ‘fantastic four’ for the Thunder Castle. The result of this game seemed to carry over to the second leg fixture between the two sides as well as Buriram earned a 3-0 away win at the SCG. The two games only highlighted what was a very dominant league season for Buriram.
No. 5 – May 26, 2019 (Buriram 1-0 Muangthong)
Sasalak’s deflected shot late in the second half made sure that Buriram beat Muangthong for the third season in a row at home. The two sides played each other at a time which saw Muangthong at its lowest with poor results before Gama got there. Although many coming into the game expected a similar scoreline to 2018’s match, Muangthong defended for their lives for the entire night only to concede when Sasalak’s long range effort wrong footed Dang Van Lam. The hosts went on to finish second, while Muangthong ended up in fifth place.
So there you have it – the five most memorable games from the last half a decade between Buriram and Muangthong. Will we see Buriram make it four in a row at home or will Mario coach his side to a big result at Chang Arena? Saturday 18.00 on Ch. 7 will give us all the answers !!