Thai FA Cup: Lindemann lifts Army United into the semis

Thai League Cup and FA Cup Björn Lindemann

Björn Lindemann
image: © Thananuwat Srirasant

The quarter final meetings of the Thai FA cup produced nearly no upset. Although one could name Army United's win over Muang Thong as such, taken the statistics from the recent Thai Cup seasons into consideration, it is not.

It was just a fortnight ago that Muang Thong and Army United faced each other at the same place in the league. At that time the match did not really had something in common with football and rather was more like swimming on a duck pond as it took place mainly under a heavy rainfall. Yet domestically unbeaten Muang Thong returned last Wednesday for the FA Cup quarter-final tie. Army's German midfielder Bjorn Lindemann, who had to be subbed with a slight knee injury against Wuachon United, found himself on the bench. However under the new-old interim coach things looking brighter for him than under the charge of Amnart Chalermchaowarit.

The visiting side controlled the game and almost from nothing and against the run of play Army United took the lead after a good 30 minutes. A very good timed pass annulled the far moved up defenders and Nipol Kamthong had no problems to pass Kawin. In injury time of the first half Muang Thong was able to level the tie by a Teerasil Dangda header and Brazilian Paulo Rangel even gave them the lead after 67 minutes of play. Everything looked to be in favour of the visitors and not many would have bet a cent on Army United. Wide of the mark! Army coach Paniphon Kerdyam reacted quickly and only five minutes later four fresh legs came on for Army in the form of Danny Invincibile and the German Lindemann.

After Army skipper Tatree Sing-Ha was able to steal the ball away of Pichitphong Choeichiu with a quite robust use of physical strength (unusal for Thais in such a way though) it was on to his team mate Lindemann to pick up the loose ball. Dynamically he ran through two opposing defenders and leveled. The third and winning goal, just a couple of minutes later (85'), saw the former Bundesliga player involved again. Having the ball on his foot on the left wing, he had two options and chose Tatree who eventually completed with a tricky shot for the final score-line. With Muang Thong dominating the game for most of the time one cannot really say it was a deserved win for Army, while they were just clinical on the finish. But the two subs really lifted Army United and gave them some fresh blood.

With it, Lindemann is the first German making it to the semi-finals of the Thai FA-Cup. Right after the match he announced to spend two barrels of German beer, for the time after a possible final. How here, he wants to get them to Thailand logistically, might be to his organizational talent.

Nevertheless, Chiang Rai United is the hurdle in the way and Army United will have to take them on 24 October at Suphachalasai - semi-finals are held on neutral ground. In a third consecutive attempt, Army United finally wants to make it to the big stage. Because in 2010 the club failed to reach the final at this point, losing to eventual FA Cup winner Chonburi FC, and a year later to the eventual winner Buriram.

For Chiang Rai United, in the quarter-final they had to deal with Division One side Suphanburi FC, which is still in hope to play in Thailand's top-tier next year. However, at the "United stadium" the favorite had to go till extra time. It was Leandro Assumpção who provided the for the half-time score after half an hour, and Nawin Channgam equalised 15 minutes before the end for Suphanburi. Then, however, Nanatawat Thaensopa and Wasan Natasan finished it off for the host with goals in the first half of extra time and injury time of the second.

Only four days after the duel in the Thai Premier League, Buriram United had to face BEC Tero at home again. At the end, however, with a different outcome. If Cleiton Silva on the weekend provided for the 1-0 winner of visitors, this time the leading TPL scorer came away empty-handed. Both clubs already crossed swords during the League Cup quarter-finals, and just as there BEC Tero came out on the short end.

However, the 3-0 score line of last Wednesday flatters Buriram. A brace within 120 seconds, Ekwalla (47') and Goran Jerković (49') smooth the way to the victory. Buriram benefited from blunders of the goalkeeper who was not able to control his box properly. After Adisak Kraisorn scored their third (70') the game was over and done. The chances Buriram United will be able to repeat the cup double from last year, are not too bad now. Since after a 3-2 in the first leg of the League Cup over Bangkok Glass FC, they are virtually in the final with one leg. Possible opponents there, Ratchaburi FC or TOT SC. Both separated 1-0 in the first leg.

And even just this Bangkok Glass FC side is now waiting in the next round of the FA Cup. The Rabbits took on Ayutthaya FC, and gave them no chance. The troops of newly appointed Bangkok Glass coach Phil Stubbins already led at half-time by two goals to nothing provided by Anawin Jujeen (37). and Leesaw (in the injury time). The consolation goal for the underdog was scored short of the final whistle.
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