Chiang Rai hat-trick hero Bill breaks Buriram hearts

Bill was the hat-trick hero for Chiang Rai United as the side from the far north beat Buriram United 3-2 to retain the Thai FA Cup in a thrilling match.

Buriram hit back to level twice but also missed a penalty and saw Sasalak Haiprakhon sent off late on as they failed to seal a league and cup double.

It was a match full of controversial moments as the use of VAR resulted in two penalty awards and the reversal of a red card decision as Chiang Rai followed up last week’s win in the League Cup final with another trophy winning performance.

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The cup holders stunned Buriram in the second minute as they took the lead through Bill. William Henrique led a counter attack down the left and crossed for his fellow Brazilian to take a touch before slotting past Siwarak Tedsungngoen from close range.

But after a frantic 10 minutes, Buriram were handed an opportunity to get back in the game when Diogo Luis Santo found Osvaldo breaking on the left before being hacked down as he cut inside.

But just he had done so heroically in last week’s League Cup final, Chatchai Budprom pulled off a save, pushing Diogo’s effort wide.

Supachai Jaided then came to close to an equaliser in the 23rdminute but his low shot from 16 yards was inches past the post.

But Buriram finally levelled the score just two minute later with an excellent solo effort from Osvaldo. The Brazilian winger cut in from the right, skipping past a couple of challenges in a crowded penalty area before firing low into the corner from 14 yards.

As half-time approached Rattakanorn Maikami fired a volley into the arms of Chatchai before the keeper launched a counter attack.

Again, William outpaced the Buriram defence down the left wing and when he cut inside from near the goal-line, Andres Tunez clearly chopped him down. The referee failed to give the penalty but VAR came into play and Chiang Rai were finally awarded the spot-kick.

Bill added his second of the night from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 with 43 minutes on the clock.

Buriram made the perfect start to the second half when they were awarded their second penalty of the game in the 50thminute after Sasalak was tripped. The referee requested a review, which confirmed the foul had taken place just inside the box.

Despite missing a spot-kick in the first half, Diogo stepped up again and this time he found the target to make it 2-2.

The game became increasingly stretched and William again had the Buriram defenders backpedaling when he surged in from the right and let fly from 20 yards in the 61stminute. But the shot went straight into the arms of a grateful Siwarak.

Buriram then threatened after some nice interplay between Diogo and Javier Patino in the Chiang Rai penalty area, but the former’s shot was blocked.

As the final 20 minutes loomed, a smart pass from Diogo found Osvaldo on the edge of the box but the former Brazil international’s shot on the turn was well off target.

And it was Chiang Rai who took the lead against the run of play in the 72ndminute. Lee Yong Rae’s slide-rule pass beat the Buriram offside trap and Bill ran clear and fired home to complete his hat-trick.

The Beetles were then given a let-off when Chaiyawat Buran looked set for an early shower after being red-carded for an ugly, late lunge on Suchao Nutnum. But there was yet another video review and the card colour strangely changed to yellow.

With nine minutes left, Osvaldo almost levelled again but Chatchai saved his close-range show from a narrow angle.

And Buriram received a further blow with three minutes remaining as Sasalak picked up a second yellow card for a cynical tug on Sivakorn Tiatrakul.

With the referee bizarrely giving just three minutes of added time, it seemed that Chiang Rai’s name was on the cup.

And they withstood some late Buriram pressure to clinch their third domestic cup in two years as Alexandre Gama’s men once again proved to be the cup specialists.

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