AFC Cup 2011: Muang Thong und Chonburi knocked out

The dream of an AFC Cup final between the two Thai sides Muang Thong United and Chonburi busted on Tuesday. Both couldn't manage to overcome a 0-1 deficit from their 1st leg ties.

While Chonburi had to face an uphill battle on away in his return match against Nasaf Qarshi, Muang Thong United showed confidence to advance to the semi finals with their own fans in the back. Pushed forward by about 11.000 home supporters the 2010 Thai Premier League champion dominated right from the start. Muang Thong was able to create one chance after another throughout the 90 minutes, whereas Kuwait SC got just a few. The home side failed either on guest goalkeeper Khalid Al Fadhl, the woodwork or it's own inability to hit the target. Even "God" in the shape of Robbie Fowler couldn't help score.

Fowler was brought in with 5 minutes remaining in the second half. In injury time Khalid Al Fadhl slided into Fowler and the Korean referee pointed towards the spot immediately. However, he changed his mind after consulting his line judge and awared a goal kick for Kuwait. Even nine minutes of injury time were not enough for MTU to score. A major interruption happened at the one hour mark, causing the added time. Datsakorn Thonglao made a nasty tackle on halfway line against Rogerio and this forced Kuwait SC coach Dragan Talajić to run onto pitch. It resulted in a brawl and Talajić was send to the stands in consequence. Muang Thongs dream and target to reach the final this year, after reaching the semis last year, came to an early end. An End with consequences.

Making it to the final, Chonburi FC maybe had the same in mind. However, the "Sharks" had to face Nasaf Qarshi, the hot favourite to win the 2011 AFC Cup. Nasaf won the first leg by 1-0 on away and to turn it around in favour for Chonburi would have been a big surprise. About 200 Chonburi fans followed the game at the club owned "Shark Cafe" and a small group even travelled to Uzebekistan. For the first 45 minutes Nasaf dominated the game and thanks to Sinthaveechai Hathairattanakool, Chonburi went into the cabins with a goal less draw. Surprisingly the guests took the lead as Nay Fabiano found the net after 54 minutes. After 120 minutes the game was not decided on aggregate and it went on to penalties. Ney Fabiano was the first to shot from the spot and saw his strike saved by the goalie. Sinthaveechai Hathairattanakool was able to save one for Chonburi and bring them into the game. But it was on old hand Therdsak Chaiman, to miss the final penalty for his side and burst the dream of a surprise.

Muang Thong as well as Chonburi hardly have a realistic chance to lift the Thai Premier League trophy. To be able to participate next years edition of the AFC Cup, on of the sides now need to win the FA cup where both are in the round of the last 16.
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