(BKG: Chatree Chimtale 17’ BUR: Osmar Barba 31’; Carmelo Gonzalez 53’; Kai Hirano 60’)
Thai Premier League champions Buriram United did the double on Sunday after winning the Thai FA Cup with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over ten-man Bangkok Glass.
It was the Glass Rabbits who had taken the lead at the Thammasat Stadium in the 17th minute when Chatree Chimtale scored with a clinical finish, but Buriram pulled level just after the half-hour mark thanks to an Osmar Barba penalty.
The Thunder Castle then edged ahead in the 53rd minute when Carmelo Gonzalez scored with an excellent header, before Kai Hirano added a third seven minutes later to wrap up the victory.
To add insult to injury, Bangkok Glass finished the game with ten men after Australian defender Goran Subara was sent off in the 80th minute for a second bookable offence.
While it was Buriram who entered Sunday’s game as favourites given their all-conquering ways in the league this season, there was certainly plenty of reason for their opponents to be motivated given a spot in the 2014 AFC Champions League, along with silverware, was on offer.
To make matters even more interesting, Bangkok Glass boss Attaphol Puspakom was looking to mastermind a win over his former club, who unceremoniously parted ways with him earlier this year just hours after he had led them to the knockout round of Asia’s premier club competition.
And it was his current charges who got the game off to a brighter start, threatening for the first time in the fifth minute when Teeratep Winothai burst past Anawin Jujeen down the left and crossed for Chatree, who seemed destined to score from four yards out until Pratum Chuthong raced across to make a fine block.
Two minutes later, Chatree had another chance when he got in behind the opposition defence but took just too long to fire his shot away, allowing Pratum to make a vital challenge once more.
But at the third time of asking, there was to be no denying the 29-year-old as he put the Glass Rabbits in front in the 17th minute; racing onto Teeratep’s glorious through-ball and rifling a shot into the bottom corner despite Osmar’s close attentions.
The goal did however spark Buriram, who had looked lacklustre in the opening exchanges, to life and they had their first sighting at goal five minutes later when Carmelo pounced on a loose ball inside the box, only to see his shot take a slight deflection and trickle just wide.
However, the Thunder Castle were gifted an excellent chance to pull level on the half-hour mark when they were awarded a penalty, after a poorly-timed challenge by Teeratep saw him hack down Jirawat Makarom inside the box.
Osmar stepped up to the plate and made no mistake, coolly firing past Narit Taweekul’s despairing dive and into the bottom corner to restore parity.
Buoyed at finding the equaliser, Buriram began to take control of proceedings as the half wore to a close, and just eight minutes after the break, they found themselves in front.
Having escaped from his opponent down the left, Suchao Nutnum assessed his options before floating a pinpoint delivery to Carmelo, who met it with a terrific glancing header into the bottom corner.
Seven minutes later, the Spaniard turned provider as he broke free on the right and held up the ball before skipping outside Piyachart Tamaphan and crossing for the unmarked Hirano, who was left with the simple task of nodding the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-1.
It was now Bangkok Glass’ turn to try and muster a response but, apart from their promising start, they were really struggling to trouble the opposition defence.
Flavien Michelini had a half-chance in the 68th minute when he reacted quickest to a loose ball and sent a half-volley towards goal, only to see it just swerve wide at the last moment.
Try as they might, the Glass Rabbits were just lacking that extra bit of invention in the attacking third and their frustrations boiled over in the 80th minute; Subara issued his marching orders after receiving a second yellow for dissent.
Instead, it looked more likely that Buriram were going to add another in the closing stages and that nearly happened four minutes from time when Carmelo raced through on goal and skipped past Narit.
But just as he was about to wheel away in celebration after sending his shot towards the unguarded net, Leandro dos Santos rushed back in time to clear it off the line.
Nonetheless, that was but a minor and insignificant victory for Bangkok Glass on an evening that belonged to the Thunder Castle, who did not have to wait long after to celebrate a third consecutive FA Cup title and move one step closer to the treble, with a League Cup final against Ratchaburi awaiting them on November 23.
Bangkok Glass: Narit Taweekul, Wasan Homsaen, Goran Subara, Pravinwat Boonyong, Piyachart Tamaphan, Leandro dos Santos, Suphasek Kaikaew (Hironori Saruta 67’), Peter Lang (Thanasit Siriphala 89’), Flavien Michelini (Phuritad Jarikanon 86’), Teeratep Winothai, Chatree Chimtale.
Buriram United: Sivaruck Tedsungnoen, Tanasak Srisai, Osmar Barba, Pratum Chuthong (Jakkraphan Kaewprom 46’), Anawin Jujeen (Suree Sukha 63’), Jirawat Makarom, Manuel Redondo, Theerathon Bunmathan, Suchao Nutnum, Kai Hirano (Adisak Kraisorn 88’), Carmelo Gonzalez.