Pathum survive Buriram rally to capture crown

Pathum survive Buriram rally to capture crown

In hot pursuit: Buriram's Theerathon Bunmathan (left) chases Ikhsan Fandi of Pathum United on Saturday night.
In hot pursuit: Buriram's Theerathon Bunmathan (left) chases Ikhsan Fandi of Pathum United on Saturday night.

Defending Thai League 1 champions Buriram United were given a taste of what is to come this season as they were beaten 3-2 by BG Pathum United in the Thailand Champions Cup on Saturday night.

The match at the 80th Birthday Anniversary Stadium in Nakhon Ratchasima was effectively decided before the hour mark.

Both sides were on even footing before Singapore's Ikhsan Fandi grabbed the second goal for the Rabbits in 38th minute. Worachit Kanitsribumphen sealed the result with a third five minutes after the break.

Traditionally, the match pits the Thai League 1 champions against the FA Cup winners. However, since Buriram won all three major titles last season, they were made to face top-flight runners-up Pathum instead.

Pathum, the 2021 Thai League 1 champions, got their first goal in the seventh minute from Thailand international Pathompol Charoenrattnapirom, who found the net with a long curling shot.

Buriram had a handful of chances and Pathum goalkeeper Kittipong Puthaechuek made a few fine saves as the Thunder Castle's search for the leveller continued.

The northeastern giants finally grabbed the equaliser when Jonathan Bolingi nodded home a Supachai Chaided cross in the 36th minute.

However, it took the Rabbits only two minutes to wrest back the upper hand as Cassio Scheid set up Ikhsan for a header with a lob.

Buriram were left with 10 men in the 50th minute when Goran Causic was sent off for a foul on Jesse Curran and Worachit Kanitsribumphen made it 3-1 for the Rabbits just a minute later.

Bolingi pulled one back for Buriram, converting an 84th-minute penalty.

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