TMCC Match 5 Preview Article 1 – Buriram United FC
Buriram United FC will contest the Toyota Mekong Club Championship 2015 final on December 20 and will be hoping that a win over surprise finalists Boeung Ket Angkor FC can help the side cap an already extraordinary season from the north-eastern Thailand based club.
Buriram United were triumphant in the Toyota League Cup earlier this season, which secured the team qualification for the Toyota Mekong Club Championship.
The side have also won the Thai Kor Royal Cup earlier this season and the club impressively remains unbeaten in the 2015 Toyota Thai Premier League, and with only one more league game to go, they are set to retain their ‘invincibles’ record..
Buriram’s ascent to the top of Thai football has hinged on the ability of the club to attract some of the best foreign imports and meld them with some of the best players that Thailand has to offer. The side have in recent days acquired the services of Brazilian ex-Crystal Palace attacker Andre Moritz as well as Chonburi FC and Thai national team icon Adul Lahsoh.
In a squad stacked with talent across all areas, the club’s standout performer this season has been Brazilian Diogo Luis Santo, a former Palmeiras prospect and once considered to have more potential than wonderkid Alexandre Pato. The former Brazil under-23 international, who has in the past been on the radar of both Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez, made his way to the four-time Thai Premier League champions after unsuccessful spells at Olympiakos of Greece and Brazilian giants Flamengo and Santos. The powerful striker has found a new lease of life at Buriram under the stewardship of compatriot and journeyman head coach Alexandre Gama. The 28-year old has averaged over a goal a game in the Toyota Thai Premier League and has been instrumental to the club, who can now boast to be in the running for a remarkable five trophies this season. He bagged a sensational hat-trick in a recent 6-0 demolition of Saraburi FC, with Gilberto Macena, Ko Seul-Ki and Anon Amornlertsak also getting their names on the scoresheet.
Speaking after the clubs recent Toyota League Cup victory over Sisaket FC, Diogo was happy with his form and looked to continue his deadly goal-scoring streak ahead of vital end-of-season matchups which await the club. “The team are playing well and I am happy to be part of such a squad. We have important games coming up against some very good teams so I hope I can play my part in helping the team win everything they can this season” he said. “Unfortunately I was suspended for the Toyota League Cup final so I am ready and raring to go in the remaining games” he added.
The side from the Thunder Castle have wrapped up the Toyota League Cup and Toyota Thai Premier League in recent weeks, to add to the Kor Royal Cup they had captured earlier in the year. They will now be eyeing a victory in the Thai FA Cup final against perennial rivals Muang Thong United as well, but before that they will welcome Cambodia’s Boeung Ket Angkor FC in the much anticipated grand final of the five-nation TMCC.
With defending champions Becamex Binh Duong FC of Vietnam duly dumped out at the semi-final stage, a new champion will be crowned in the TMCC final at Bangkok’s Supachalasai Stadium on Sunday, December 20. Kick-Off will be at 7 pm.