By FOX Sports staff
With a couple of key Thai Premier League encounters on the horizon, as well as the second leg of their AFC Champions League quarter-final clash against Esteghlal, Buriram opted to rest a number of first-team players for the clash at the Rayong Stadium.
The likes of Suchao Nutnum, Theerathon Bunmathan and Sivaruck Tedsungnoen all had to settle for a place on the bench, while Spaniard star Carmelo Gonzalez and Philippines international Javier Patino were left out completely.
And despite currently being second from bottom in the Division 1 League, Rayong showed no lack in motivation as they issued a real challenge to their more-illustrious opponents from the opening whistle.
Just before the break, it was the hosts who remarkably the lead after they were awarded a penalty, allowing Piroj Anantanarong to step up and fire his shot past Yodsapon Tiangda from 12 yards.
However, the Thunder Castle did mount an all-out assault on the opposition goal in the second half as they looked to find an equaliser, only to be denied by an in-form Leuchar Jantawong, who produced a string of smart saves.
Buriram will now be looking to overturn the deficit when they entertain Rayong in the second leg on October 2 at the New I-Mobile Stadium.
The other semi-final clash sees Ratchaburi take on Nakhon Ratchasima, with the first leg scheduled for September 18.
Image courtesy of Buriram United FC