Buriram United won the Kor Royal Cup for the third season running after beating Bangkok Glass 1-0 at the Suphachalasai Stadium on Saturday evening.
Following a goalless first half, the Thunder Castle broke the deadlock in the 58th minute when Diogo nipped in ahead of Narit Taweekul to deftly lift the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper, after Gilberto Macena had done well to break free down the left and fire a cross to the near post.
Having claimed the lead, Alexandre Gama’s charges then managed to hold out for the remainder of the match to win the annual clash between the reigning champions of the Thai Premier League and FA Cup.
Despite the start of the 2015 league campaign being a few weeks away, Buriram – who have been crowned champions three times in the past four years – are already shaping up as genuine contenders once again.
Although they boast seasoned campaigners like Suchao Nutnum, Theerathon Bunmathan and Anawin Jujeen in their side, they have spared no expense in adding reinforcements over the off-season and secured the services of right-back Narubodin Weerawatnodom and winger Prakit Deeprom from BEC Tero Sasana and TOT respectively; both of whom played key roles in Thailand’s 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup triumph last month.
In addition, a host of new foreigners have arrived at the New I-Mobile Stadium including Diogo and Macena, fellow Brazilian Rafael Coelho, former Ulsan Hyundai star Go Seul-ki and New Zealand international Kayne Vincent, who netted 12 league goals for Songkhla United last term.
Meanwhile, Bangkok Glass have largely decided to keep their faith in the squad that landed them their first major piece of silverware in a decade by winning last season’s FA Cup.
The foreign trio of Japanese striker Goshi Okubo, Namibia international Lazarus Kaimbi and Macedonian playmaker Darko Tasevski has been retained, and they will be joined this season by Australian centre-back Matt Smith, who made over 100 appearances for A-League outfit Brisbane Roar, and Brazilian striker Leandro Oliveira from Port.
Other players that will be expected to play key roles for the Glass Rabbits in 2015 include talismanic captain Chatree Chimtale, midfielder Suphasek Kaikaew and defenders Pravinwat Boonyong and Wasan Homsaen.