Muang Thong Utd are through to the semi finals of the AFC Cup after beating Syrian side Al Karamah 2-0 at the Yamaha Stadium last night. Two first half goals were enough to see the home side through after a 1-0 loss in the first leg in Syria.
Virtually the entire FC Phuket squad made the trip to Muang Thong Thani to watch the match. The two clubs have a reciprocal arrangement and a number of FC Phuket's first team players, including Diarra Ali, Nene Bi and Adisak Kraisorn are actually on loan from Muang Thong Utd.
There is almost a month's break between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs as a couple of FC Phuket players, including Kraisorn, are in action for Thailand under 19's.
Muang Thong Utd actually played a group game in the AFC Cup at the Surakul Stadium earlier this year during the protests in Bangkok but they are now back at their home ground where they seldom lose a game.
Trailing 1-0 from the first leg Muang Thong Utd delighted their vociferous supporters by levelling the tie after 32 minutes through a spectacular volley from Datsakorn Thonglao.
Ten minutes later Ivory Coast winger Christian Kouakou went down after the slightest of contact from Al Karamah defender Richard Etiege and the referee pointed to the spot. The penalty was duly converted by Siaka Dagno to give Muang Thong Utd a 2-1 lead on aggregate.
The visitors knew that they only needed to score once to go ahead under the away goals rule but they were unable to fashion any clear cut chances. Muang Thong Utd controlled the game in the second half and were unfortunate not be awarded another penalty.
Muang Thong Utd manager Rene Desayere was delighted by his side's performance,
“Tonight we played the best I have seen. We are all very happy and we hope this will spur us on in the competition. The Syrians were a very good side and we did not let one goal in against them. In fact we hardly let them have a shot," he said.