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Analysis: Boys from Brazil lead Buriram to famous victory

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Edgar Silva

Buriram: A standout performance from Edgar Silva helped Buriram United to one of their most famous victories as they defeated Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3-2 in the first leg of their 2018 AFC Champions League Round of 16 encounter.

With Jeonbuk choosing to rest a number of key players for next week’s second leg at home, the Thai champions pounced to take the advantage heading into that clash, although a late goal from the Korea Republic side did take some of the gloss off the win.

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Dynamic Duo

The home side’s Brazilian strike duo of Edgar Silva and Diogo were a constant thorn in the side of Jeonbuk all night, with their movement and pace causing issues for the visitor’s defence all night long.

Between them they had six shots on goal, and scored all three goals for Buriram United on the night.

As their heat map (below) indicates, they completed a mountain of work in their front third and would often push up close to midfield to receive the ball as they looked to play the ball out from the back.

Flying Sasalak

In the 5-3-2 system that Buriram United were playing, the two full-backs are most important as they are needed to get forward and join in with the attack, thus creating almost a five-man midfield, while also tracking back when Jeonbuk had the ball.

No one did that better for the home side than Sasalak Haiprakhon on the right hand side, with the 23-year-old working tirelessly to get up and down the field, as shown on his touch map below.

Only one player for Buriram United had more passes than Sasalak and that was Suchao Nutnum, who completed 41 while Sasalak completed 40. Importantly, given his defensive duties, he also made four tackles.

Aerial Threat

The home side had a tough time dealing with the aerial threat posed by towering Jeonbuk striker Kim Shin-wook, who had a key role in both goals for the visitors on the night.

Kim stands almost 10cm taller than anyone in the Buriram United defence and he made full use of that size, winning 15 of the 16 aerial duels he competed in.

His attacking map (below) shows how dangerous he was, especially in and around the penalty box, where he made three of his four key passes and had his four shots on goal.

While he didn’t find the back of the net himself, his work across the front third was a significant factor in Jeonbuk being able to get their two goals on the night.

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