Withaya sinks teeth into Sharks (25/05/2011)

Chonburi: Despite seeing his side progress to the last eight of the AFC Cup, boss Withaya Laohakul blasted Chonburi’s performance in the 3-0 victory over Sriwijaya and insisted they must tighten up if they are to become serious contenders to lift the trophy.

The hosts controlled much of the game at Chonburi Stadium but sodden conditions made intricate build-up play a difficult proposition.

Ney Fabiano opened the scoring with a close-range header after 17 minutes before Therdsak Chaiman doubled the Sharks’ lead from the spot just before the half-hour mark.

Natthaphong Samana wrapped up the scoring seven minutes from time but Withaya was nevertheless unhappy with what he saw from his men.

“I am not satisfied with this performance and we are lucky to advance,” he said.

“We made too many easy mistakes that they could have capitalised on.”

Still, the Chonburi boss is now relishing the prospect of possibly pitting his side against the best West Asia has to offer.

“I am looking forward to playing against the West Asian clubs, as I want to know where we stack up in Asia,” he added.

“But I think we will meet Muang Thong United in the AFC Cup final.”

Sriwijaya coach Ivan Kolev, meanwhile, was not left in the best of moods by the defeat.

“The game ended in the first 25 minutes. I thought the referee just gave a present to Chonburi,” said Kolev.

“The referee’s decisions cut into our players’ motivation. Too many fouls were given to the host team. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to come back after a 2-0 deficit and we struggled in the second half.”

The Bulgarian is also unhappy with the way the knockout rounds are structured.

“I don't like this one-off format in the Round of 16. We only have one chance in an away game, and this is not good for football fans,” he added.

“Congratulations to Chonburi FC but they will face stronger opponents in the next round .”