Buriram United registered their first league win since the return of coach Alexandre Gama last night, seeing off visitors Rayong FC with a convincing 5-1 win.
Buoyed by their 9-0 FA Cup victory against T3 side Samut Songkhram FC over the weekend, Buriram returned to action eager to end the slump in form which saw them drop down to 12th place in the standings. The side suffered two consecutive home defeats for the first time, and failing to emerge with anything less than three points on Wednesday would be an abject disaster.
Bottom side Rayong FC stood in their way, hoping to salvage the unlikeliest of points in a game which would likely be the toughest away fixture in any regular season. With their first league win now under their belt, the Dragon Horses could play with more confidence and a new lease on life, largely due to the form of new striker Adalgiso Pitbull.
However, it didn’t take long for Buriram to get the ball rolling, when Marko Scepovic got on the end of Jakkaphan Kaewprom’s delivery and executed a smart header to leave goalkeeper Kampol Pathom-attakul dumbfounded. That effort was followed up in short order by Renato Kelic, as the giant Croatian once again found the net from a set-piece and doubled Buriram’s advantage.
Pitbull showed his quality on the 30 minute mark with as he played a quick give-and-go with strike partner Danilo before skipping past a pair of Buriram defenders and firing a long-range effort past Siwarak Tedsungnoen to get the travelling supporters on their feet. Their brief resurgence lasted until the second half, when the side were reduced to 10 men due to a reckless foul from Kirati Kaewnongdaeng which saw him collect his second yellow card of the match.
Buriram made the most of their numerical advantage, as Supachai Jaided, Supachok Sarachat and Kevin Ingresso all got on the scoresheet to round off a comfortable victory for the home side. However, the seven-time champions still face an uphill battle to reach a respectable position by the end of the seasons’ first leg, and will likely need to win all of the remaining four games if they want to be in the conversation for AFC Champions League qualification.
Coach Gama has been tasked with reigniting the magic that saw his Muangthong side jump from the relegation zone to fifth place during the second half of last season, and the Thunder Castle have very little room for error if they wish to achieve that feat.