Buriram United F.C. Represents Thailand in Toyota Mekong Club Championship 2016
13th October 2016 marks Thailand’s saddest time, as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away after 70 years of reign. As the nation mourns, the Football Association of Thailand decided that it is only appropriate to cancel Toyota Thai League Cup 2016 as the country and the players are not in the mood for competition. Both the contenders, Buriram United FC and SCG Muangthong United FC were declared co-champions for this year’s tournament.
After a discussion amongst related parties, it was decided that Buriram United FC, the Champion of Toyota Mekong Club Championship 2015 will be the team representing Thailand in the Toyota Mekong Club Championship this year. The team has already earned its place in the final round, being the champion of the last Toyota Mekong Cup. They will play to defend their title, in the new championship format.
The final match, this year, will be played twice, so that both teams get the chance to play at their home pitch. First, Buriram United FC will play an away match on 4th January. The teams will then play each other again at Thammasat Rangsit Stadium in Thailand, on 8th January, where the champion will be decided. This format is intended to promote a more intense and interesting comeback experience.
Suchao Noochnoom, the captain of Buriram United F.C., guarantees that the final match this year will be close one. He said, “At this moment, all the teams have a good chance of taking the title away from us.”
He said, “Although Thailand is at the top of ASEAN football at the moment, anyone who has seen the last Mekong Championship match will know that we have fought a tough battle, which we won only by one goal margin.”
He paused and continued, “The final match with Boeung Ket Angkor was a tough one even when we got to play them at home. Although we were the eventual champions, they had many talented players who put up a tough fight.”
When asked about this year’s teams, he said, “They are all good teams, even more so, with the change in championship match format. We have to make a lot of preparation to defend the title this year. Especially, now that we are chosen to represent Thailand.”
The captain ended with something closer to his heart. He said, “2016 has become a very sad year for all of us, as His Majesty, the King has passed away. We wish to do our best for His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, to defend and keep this Championship title in Thailand, and we hope to start 2017 with good news for our football fans. That is the least Buriram United FC can do.”
On the 5th of November, the series will start off with qualification matches in a single round robin style for the following 3 teams; ‘SHB Da Nang FC’ from The Vietnam V-League 1, led by Argentina striker, current top scorer in V-League, Gaston Merlo, ‘Lanexang United’ Laos National League Champion, led by core members of Laos National team such as Narodom Promsuwan, Kumpang Saiwut and, ‘Yadanarbon FC’ Myanmar National League Champion, led by head coach Rene Desaeyere with most players from Myanmar national team along with their foreign players Jun Tura and Kegere Mukailu the team’s trusted center-back.
The program for this year Toyota Mekong Club Championship will be as follows:
Round 1: 5th November – 27th December, 2016
Lanexang United (Home) VS SHB Da Nang FC (Away) – 5th November
SHB Da Nang FC (Home) VS Yadanarbon FC (Away) – 23rd December
Yadarnabon FC (Home) VS SHB Da Nang FC (Away) – 27th December
Semi-final: 31st December, 2016
Winner of Round 1 (Away) VS Boeung Ket Angkor FC (Home)
Championship Match: 4th – 8th January, 2017
Winner of Semi-final (Home) VS Buriram United FC (Away) – 4th January
Buriram United (Home) VS Winner of Semi-final (Away) – 8th January
As the beginning of TMCC draws closer, excitement is building up. Only one team will be crowned as ‘The Best in the Mekong region’. It all begins this November 5th.