Buriram United claimed their first piece of silverware in 2014 on Saturday after beating Muangthong United 1-0 to win the Kor Royal Cup.
The only goal of the game came in the 78th minute when new signing Jay Simpson netted for the Thunder Castle, which proved enough for the victory.
Having enjoyed a dominant year last term, where they won the treble of the Thai Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup, Buriram entered Saturday’s game looking to begin 2014 in the same vein.
However, the match – the traditional curtain raiser to the new season – also provided the Twin Qilins the opportunity to state their ambitions for the coming year.
But although both sides looked lively early on, it was Buriram who had a golden opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty in the 38th minute following a foul on Suchao Nutnum inside the area, only for Witsanusak Kaewruang to keep out the veteran’s effort.
Shortly before the break, the Thunder Castle had the ball in the back of the net via a Carmelo Gonzalez effort, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.
Looking to add a different dimension in attack, Buriram coach Alejandro Menendez then decided to bring Simpson on for Leandro Torres.
And the substitution proved to be a masterstroke 12 minutes from time when the ex-Arsenal man beat Artit Daosawang, before coolly firing past Witsanusak to win it for Buriram.