Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thai Port 0-2 Muangthong United

A late double from Paulo Rangel helped a second string Muangthong United book their place in the last 8 of the Toyota League Cup at the expense of Thai Port.

The niggly first half frustrated the Wednesday teatime crowd as the referee peppered the match with the awarding of several free kicks. The towering Rangel was making his presence felt up front for the visitors, and he should have done better from Ekkapoom's cross on 16 minutes, but he couldn't connect properly as his shot trundled wide. Minutes later the same man's unchallenged header was easily saved by Wanlop.

In first half injury time, Olan had the home side's best sighting on goal when he blazed a shot over from Steven Robb's cross.

The second half continued to be fiery and on 55 minutes there were no takers for Port as Sarawut fired a low drive across the Muangthong six yard box.  

Midway through the half, Wanlop saved a powerful header from Hermoza after he'd combined well with Jakkraphan.

A couple of minutes later, the whistle happy ref failed to spot a handball from Narat in the Thai Port box much to the fury of the MTU bench.

The home side then went close from an inswinging Thongchai free kick from the right, and Alex Ruella had an effort blocked close to the goal.

On 83 minutes, the deadlock was finally broken when a quick break from midfield by Jakkraphan found Rangel in the box and the big Brazilian's crisp low shot found the bottom corner of the net.

Late sub, Teerawut, twice came close to levelling for Port as full time approached. His dipping effort was tipped over the bar by Umarin, and seconds later, poor defending allowed him to lob the keeper, but his attempt bounced wide.

The home side continued to press but they were undone three minutes into added time as Barakat's precise pass found Rangel allowing him to coolly round a defender and the goalkeeper before slotting home to end the contest.

Thai Port have more pressing survival matters and falling out of the cup could benefit them in the long run. Although, I wouldn't have suggested that to any of the Klong Toei Army as they were leaving the stadium tonight. It's scary for me that Muangthong can rest so many first team regulars yet still progress to the quarter finals without really breaking sweat. Now that they're in the last eight, I wonder if they continue to play fringe players if they were to draw Buriram Utd or Chonburi?

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