Khon Kaen v Bangkok Utd
Police v Chonburi
BEC Tero v Nakhon Ratchasima
Bangkok FC v Air Force
PTT Rayong v Thai Honda
Ratchaburi v Chiang Mai
TTM Customs v Samut Songkhram
TOT v Ayutthaya
Sisaket v Ang Thong
Songkhla Utd v Singh Tarua
Siam Navy v Bangkok Glass
Osotspa Saraburi v Muangthong Utd
Nakhon Pathom Utd v Suphanburi
Buriram Utd v Chainat
Chiang Rai Utd v Army
Nakhon Nayok v Trat
The standard in Division 1 is the weakest (in my opinion) it's been for five seasons, so teams like Nakhon Ratchasima, Phuket and Bangkok FC will see this as a great chance of finding an escape route to the TPL. The team in the trio's way at this moment are table toppers Ang Thong. They will be hoping to emulate Chiang Rai United, Buriram FC, Chainat and Ratchaburi who have all recently taken the express route from the regional leagues to the top flight. Ang Thong are a hard working team that knows where the back of the net is. I'd say they are possibly punching above their weight and whether they can last the distance remains to be seen.
Nakhon Ratchasima are the only side yet to lose and they have only conceded four goals in ten matches. The experienced Ivan Boskovic seems to have found his level and is Korat's leading scorer. The league's top scorer alongside Mark Babo Landry is Valci Junior with nine goals. The well travelled Brazilian has filled the shoes vacated by Lee Tuck and if Bangkok FC can get a full season out of Valci, then the bitter disappointment of missing promotion at the death last season would be erased from their memory. Phuket surprisingly stuck with Deco as coach despite a horrific run of form towards the end of 2013. The former Chiang Rai Utd coach was given time to bring in his own players and this has reaped dividends for the Islanders.
Below the top four, Phitsanulok, Saraburi, Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya all have potential to break into the top three provided they can string a run of form together. Siam Navy and TTM are also in the top half of the table but I can't imagine either of those two being TPL bound come the end of the season.
At the bottom, it's a question of which three sides will accompany Sriracha Ban Beung to the lower leagues next season. The goals of Matius Recio have dried up at Khon Kaen and the T-Rex are consequently five points from safety. Roi Et haven't adapted to the first division as well as anticipated and one win from ten matches leaves Nakhon Pathom United in the bottom four alongside the White Squirrels. Krabi have found scoring goals difficult but their saving grace could be their defence which is leaking less than one goal per game. Pattaya have won four from their last six to recover from a disastrous start while BBCU are slipping in the opposite direction after an encouraging opening. On their day Trat can beat anybody in the league but they have been far too inconsistent so far.
As the TPL table stands just now, it appears that any five from the seven below will be taking the drop to the first division.
Current Position: 14th
Kouprey can be reasonably pleased with their return to the TPL after
a lengthy courtroom battle left them idle for the majority of 2013.
aren’t many household names in the squad, but that’s possibly why it’s
so far. Their key to survival is beating the teams currently below them
table. At this moment, they are just above danger zone courtesy of goal
difference. The important factor for Sisaket is to remain in the TPL and
build from there.
Current Position: 15th
parted ways with the wily Sasom Pobprasert during the off-season and they
probably regret doing that now. His replacement Rui Bento didn’t even make it
to Songkran festival and former Police coach Thawatchai has been given the task
of saving the Angels. I expect he'll be one of the busiest mangers in the upcoming transfer window as he brings in fresh faces to replace some of the well paid journeymen currently at the club. In the meantime, losing 7-0 at Tero a fortnight ago hardly inspires
confidence and the underachieving squad are in real danger of
dropping down a division.
Current Position: 16th
dream of being the Buriram of the south has never emerged and the club are on
route to return to the first division were the now extinct Songkhla FC once lingered.
The Fighting Bulls are averaging less than one goal per game and the have the equal worst
defensive record in the league. That’s not a good combination. Home form could
be their savior.
Current Position: 17th
It’s been a
Jekyll and Hyde start to the season for Police. An impressive 5-1 win over Air
Force and a 1-1 draw at Muangthong wasn’t capitalized on with the club losing
five out of their next six games. That run cost Carlos Roberto his job and he’s
been surprisingly replaced by Mika Lonnstrom. The Finn was recruited from a Roi
Et United side that were second from bottom in Division 1. If Police can get
their strikers firing, then they should be able to avoid the drop.
Current Position: 18th
Millionaires got off to a decent start and a comfortable mid-table finish
appeared on the cards. However, the turning point in their season came when
they blew a 2-0 lead at home to Chonburi, eventually drawing 2-2. Since then,
their solid defensive unit have started shipping goals and their only win came nine games ago against Samut Songkhram. Fortunately, for the club, they have
the money and resources to revamp their squad for the second leg.
Current Position: 19th
dysfunctional club seemed set for a stable season after a new sponsorship deal
allowed them to make early purchases in the transfer market. Unfortunately hardly any of them have lived up to their billing. The upgrade of
their home stadium has seen them relocate to the stadiums of Ratchaburi and
Army. In their absence from home, they’ve lost all four contests. The Mackerels
only win was at Air Force and they need to return to home base as soon as
possible if they have any chance of survival.
Current Position: 20th
dismal return to the top flight for Air Force. With no wins in 11
appears incredibly likely that they will be making an instant return to
second tier. Instead of building on their promotion winning team, they
dismantled it and brought in several new faces. Lee Tuck was acquired
Bangkok FC and with Kouassi Hermann, they were expected to bang in the
Neither of the duo have managed to find their first division goal
and as a result Air Force are rooted to the floor of the TPL. They are
already 7 points from safety and are in danger of being cut adrift at
Part 3 features the clubs that aren't expected to win the title but at the same time are far too good to go down.
Current Position: 4th
wasn’t high at the Home of Gentleman pre-season but so far most of the Army
support have been pleasantly surprised with what they have seen. In hindsight, I really should have included Army in the 'surprise packages' section rather than this one. Matt Elliott
has his side playing decent football and the unexpected emergence of Tanakorn has
boosted his side’s goalscoring options. With Goran Jerkovic upfront as well, Army are guaranteed goals provided the Frenchman is provided ammunition inside the box. New signing Wellington Priori has become a fan favourite and similar to Anderson dos Santos at Chonburi, he is just as comfortable in the back four or playing the slightly more advanced defensive midfield role. Army finished 7th last year
and they won’t finish far off that spot again. They will face a stiff test in the month of May as four of their next five games are against the top 4 sides of 2013.
Current Position: 7th
have a decent roster of players and are looking good for a top six finish. The
only hindrance appears to be their temporary home at the Rajamangala. Apart
from a 7-0 thumping of Songkhla, they’ve had a lean time at the national arena.
On the road, Osotspa are unbeaten and have enjoyed more success on their
travels. With Chananan, Komenan and Aron da Silva, the Saraburi club have no shortage of firepower.
Current Poition: 12th
Hornbills apparently have one of the biggest budgets in the league yet they
still linger in mid-table. Defensively they have been relatively sound but they don’t
score enough goals. They'll need to capture a striker or two to provide them with sufficient goals if they are to attain a top half finish. Unfortunately for Chainat, the only award they look like they’ll be winning in 2014 is the worst
shirt in the TPL.
Current Position: 11th
Glass have continued to be consistently inconsistent. On their day they can
beat the best and then follow that up with a dire performance against one of
the weaker sides. They have struggled away from their astroturf and have lost four out of six away days. BG are good going forwards but a couple of new defenders must be a
requirement when the transfer window reopens.
Current Position: 9th
fourth placed finish last year, Suphanburi were expected to kick on and were
considered title candidates. They brought in Mano Polking as coach from Army
who then proceeded to bring Bjorn Lindemann and Jung Myung Oh with him. The
fact that their position is no better than Army’s in 2013 shouldn't come as a big
surprise. In all honesty, Mano has a tough act to follow after the club
exceeded all expectations last season. Nonetheless, not even the most optimistic of the Suphanblood contingent would have predicted their 5-2 humbling of Muangthong last Sunday. That result coupled with Dragan Boskovic's imminent return from injury indicates that brighter times are ahead at Suphanburi after their sluggish start.
Current Position: 13th
flirtation with relegation last season, the northern side are back into their
more accustom mid-table position. Leandro Assumpcao has returned from Chonburi
and is the club’s top goalscorer. Pichitpong has brought grit and experience to
the middle of the park and home form should see them finish somewhere in the
middle of the pack.
Part 2 has a look at four of the sides doing slightly better than anticipated.
Current Position: 3rd
have offered any Singh Tarua fan 20 points after 10 matches in February, they’d
have bitten your hand off. The goalscoring form of Leandro Luz in the first
month of the season propelled Tarua to the top of the table. The Brazilian’s
form tailed off in April but other players stepped up and hard graft has seen
them grind out three gritty 1-0 wins recently. The big concern now is the long term injury loss of Leandro. The TPL leading goalscorer isn't expected to return
until the latter weeks of the campaign. In this season of unpredictability,
it’s difficult to envisage where Tarua will be positioned in the table by the time
he returns. The back up strikers of Joo Sung Hwan and Thierry Fidjeu have yet to impress and a big onus will now be on the effective central defensive pairing of Lee Sang Ho and Jakkapong to keep it tight at the back.
Current Position: 4th
second half of last season, TOT were atrocious. They only managed to stay
afloat because they had collected a decent haul points in the first half of
the season. During their woeful run, they were without the duo of Lee Junki and
Takahiro Kawamura for long periods. The fact that they are both back to full
fitness is no coincidence on how well TOT are doing this term. They aren’t
pretty to watch yet they should avoid any relegation scares this time around. A top ten finish and a year away from danger would be seen as progress.
Current Position: 8th
came flying out of the traps and they were being considered as serious title
contenders after six matches. The fact that they had travelled to Suphanburi,
Buriram, Chonburi and Muangthong and remained unbeaten astounded the Thai football
public. The manager of the month award for March was given to new boy
Ricardo Rodriguez but since then Ratchaburi have stuttered through an easier
batch of fixtures dropping to 8th in the process. A top 6 finish is a
realistic target for Ratchaburi
Current Position: 2nd
club are the only side yet to suffer defeat and they are probably the second favorites in the title race.
Their chief goal hawk Cleiton Silva departed for Mexico in the New Year and it
was highly anticipated that his goals would be a huge loss. However, Tero have
been defensively sound so far and their goals have been shared around the squad.
The news that Cleiton Silva may return for the second leg could be the final
piece in the jigsaw to end Tero's 12 year wait for a top flight title. In my opinion, they need to add another couple of quality signings if they are to lift the TPL trophy in November.
The TPL season to date has been one of the most unpredictable in recent memory. Here is a look at how the 20 TPL clubs are faring thus far. The first part focuses on the three sides that have dominated the title race during the last five years.
Current Position: 1st
couple of early unconvincing home performances, Muangthong have emerged from
the pack to top the table. The club parted ways with Scott Cooper after barely
a month of the season and they are currently under the temporary guidance of
caretaker Pon Chomchearn. The Twin Quilins have won their last four matches and on three
occasions they have netted four goals on their travels. In Mario Gjurovski
they have the TPL’s joint top goal scorer and arguably the best player in
Thailand. Jay Bothroyd has started finding the back of the net and that should
ease the blow when fans’ favorite Teerasil departs for Almeria on his one
season loan deal. The only worry for MTU would be their goals against column.
If they can stop conceding sloppy goals, then a return of the TPL crown to
Nonthaburi seems highly likely.
Current Position: 12th
It’s been a
difficult start for the 2013 treble winners. They have already been eliminated
from the AFC Champions League and their patchy league form has dropped them into the unfamiliar surroundings of
mid-table. The loss of Osmar Ibanez to FC Seoul has left Buriram weaker in both
boxes. The paper thin squad has struggled to deal with the burden of two games
in a week and it’s fair to say that the new signings haven’t lived up to
expectations. It's expected that a few of the foreign recruits will be shipped out and a clutch of new signings will arrive when the transfer window reopens next month. Under Alejandro Menendez, some of his players appeared to lack match fitness and
it was hard to fathom out his tactical formations at times. He has subsequently lost his job and the task
of salvaging something from this season rests on new head coach Bozidar
Bandovic’s shoulders. The target for the Serb will be to claw back the 10 point deficit on Muangthong and retain both the domestic cups.
Current Position: 5th
had a clearout of fringe players at the end of last season and similar to Buriram United they
never adequately strengthened during the break. The biggest fear of all
Chonburi fans came into being when star player Thiago Cunha was ruled out with injury
for the first half of the season. With mother nature catching up on Pipob and
Therdsak, there is a shortage of attacking threat at Chonburi. New coach
Masahiro Wadaseems a bit more clued up
them the previous incumbent, Withaya Laohakul, but with virtually the same
starting 11 to pick from, it’s hard to foresee Chonburi challenging for the title
this season. Another season of mediocrity and lack of silverware would not go down well with the Chonburi faithful.
PTT Rayong 1-4 Muangthong Utd
Samut Songkhram 1-2 Chonburi
Songkhla Utd 1-0 Bangkok Utd
Suphanburi 1-1 Buriram Utd
Bangkok Glass 2-3 Army Utd
BEC Tero 2-1 Sisaket
Chiang Rai Utd 2-0 Air Force
Ratchaburi 1-2 Osotspa Saraburi
Police 1-2 Chainat
TOT 2-0 Singh Tarua
There was a first reality check for Singh Tarua and Ratchaburi as they suffered their first losses of the season. Tarua were without their talisman Leandro and there were to be no goals and no points for the league leaders at TOT. Takahiro Kawamura gave TOT the lead after his side had been awarded a softish penalty. Prakit cut in from the right to double that lead in the 32nd minute. Tarua huffed and puffed but never looked like getting back into the contest in the remaining hour. An own goal three minutes from time was Ratchaburi's undoing. A shot from the right by Narong gave Osotspa the lead midway through the second period. Douglas levelled from the spot ten minutes later but Osotspa regained the lead when a deflection off Sila's knee crept into the bottom corner of the net.
A double apiece from Djurovski and Teerasil sent Muangthong to the top of the league. They beat PTT Rayong 4-1 and as a consequence PTT slipped into the relegation placings.
2-1 victories for Chonburi and BEC Tero moved the duo to within one point of top spot. The Brazilian boys, Anderson dos Santos and Thiago Cunha, were responsible for Chonburi's goals while Welcome and Shimoji were on target for BEC Tero.
Bangkok Glass' perfect home record was smashed after they lost 3-2 to Army. A Chaiwat header and two from Raphael Botti earned Army their first ever TPL success over Bangkok Glass.
At the bottom, Songkhla edged out Bangkok United 1-0 to move out of the drop zone. The winning goal came courtesy of two Chonburi loanees with Kraikitti prodding home Rachanon's cross. Air Force still can't buy a point on the road and it was another player with a Chonburi connection that bagged both goals for Chiang Rai United. Leandro Assumpcao spent the second half of last season on loan at Chonburi.
Only 1,125 spectators turned up to watch another home loss for Police. Lee Hyun Jin's deflected cross gave Chainat the lead before the Korean turned provider cutting back for Sumanya to double the lead. For the third home game running Police scored a consolation deep into injury time when Tana's shot found the bottom corner.
The mid-table clash between Suphanburi and Buriram ended all square. Luizinho gobbled up a rebound in the 7th minute but Suphanburi allowed Buriram back into the game as they gifted Patino a 37th minute equalizer.
Samut Songkhram remain rooted to the bottom of the TPL after they lost 2-1 to Chonburi at the Army Stadium in Bangkok.
Anderson dos Santos opened the scoring midway through the first half with a header from six yards. The Brazilian was set up by Chonlatit who'd lobbed the ball back form the dead ball line. Pinto for some reason went on a walkabout leaving his net vacant.
Chonburi doubled their tally in spectacular fashion in the 54th minute. An unmarked Thiago was given time and space to direct his bicycle kick past Pinto.
Yusuke Kato pulled one back for Samut Songkhram as he guided Issarapong's cut back past Sinthaweechai.
Despite never looking in danger it was a nervy last 15 minutes for the Chonburi supporters. They were however given a first glimpse of new Portuguese striker Jaime Braganca. I think it's fair to say that it was an interesting introduction from the substitute.
Samut Songkhram remain bottom and on this form it seems like old father time is going to catch up on their TPL status this year. Chonburi are only one point behind league leaders Muanghthong and in this unpredictable season anything could happen.
Sa Keao v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Phuket v Ayutthaya
RBAC v Ang Thong
Lampang v Chiang Mai
Bangkok FC v Trang
Saraburi v Siam Navy
Khon Kaen v BBCU
Thai Honda v Prachuap
Ratchapreuk College v Nakhon Nayok
Sriracha Ban Bueng v Trat
Muangkan v TTM Customs
Nakhon Ratchasima v Seeker
The winners of the 12 ties will join the 20 TPL clubs in the last 32.
Wednesday 9 April
PTT Rayong v Muangthong Utd
Samut Songkhram v Chonburi
Songkhla Utd v Bangkok Utd
Suphanburi v Buriram Utd
Bangkok Glass v Army Utd
BEC Tero v Sisaket
Chiang Rai Utd v Air Force
Ratchaburi v Osotspa Saraburi
Police v Chainat
TOT v Singh Tarua
With the Songkran festival set to hit the streets of Thailand this weekend, the Matchday 8 fixtures have been pulled forward to Wednesday evening. There has been plenty of focus at the top end of the table recently so I thought I'd take a closer look at the teams at the wrong end of the table. A quick glance at the foot of the league shows four sides in danger of being cut adrift. They are Bangkok United, Songkhla, Air Force and Samut Songkhram.
Two of the aforementioned sides meet at the Tinsulanon tomorrow when Songkhla welcome Bangkok United. The Fighting Bulls played more like the cowering calfs on Saturday when they were hammered 7-0 by Osotspa. The fact that they've conceded 19 goals already does not bode well for the southern side. Four out of five of their points have been collected on their own patch and I feel home form is going to be vital in their bid to last the course. At this moment in time, I'm not overly optimistic about their survival prospects.
On paper, Bangkok United's opening fixtures haven't been overly challenging yet they sit in the relegation positions. Add to that the fact that they have plenty of depth in their squad, I find it slightly bewildering that they are struggling. Last season Bangkok United did the double over Songkhla so the same again is required for Rui Bento's side.
After a couple of years of financial turmoil, Samut Songkhram finally looked to be heading in the right direction with the arrival of a new sponsorship deal. However, the opposite has happened and the Raging Mackerels are in last position. They are currently scheduled to use the Army Stadium for their next three home fixtures and that will surely go against them especially tomorrow against Chonburi. In the last two seasons, Samut Songkhram have beaten Chonburi at home. On both occasions, the matches were played on a quagmire after a deluge of rain made the Samut Songkhram pitch virtually unplayable. On an even playing surface on neutral territory, the Sharks will begin as firm favorites.
Air Force astonished many Thai football fans when they won the first division last season. So far on their return to the top flight the have 100% records both at home and away. At the Thupathemi they've drawn all four matches while away they've been beaten in all three. Air Force along with Samut Songkhram are the lowest scorers with only four goals. This needs to be improved and they need to start collecting points on the road. I can't see either of them happening up at Chiang Rai United.
Sitting two points above the quintet are Police and PTT Rayong. The duo both have home matches with Police hosting Chainat and PTT entertaining Muanthong United. Last season's FA Cup quarter final saw PTT Rayong race into a three goal lead before Muangthong recovered to win 4-3 after extra time.
This time last year Suphanburi v Buriram would have been a much anticipated top of the table clash. This time though it's a mid-table affair with both clubs trying to salvage their seasons.
Top of the table Singh Tarua travel to TOT. It's been almost five years since the Khlong Toei side recorded a league win over the Telephone Boys. That came back in September 2009. Second placed Ratchaburi take on Osotspa Saraburi which won't be an easy task. OS have moved into the top half after a couple of unexpected home losses blighted their early season form.
Elsewhere, Bangkok Glass will be confident of keeping their perfect home record intact after the visit of Army. In eight previous TPL attempts, Army have never beaten Bangkok Glass. BEC Tero will also be feeling similarly positive that they can beat Sisaket.
There are no Division 1 games. The action will return on the 19th April.
The woodwork denied Ratchaburi twice in the second half as they couldn't break down a stubborn Sisaket. The point for Ratchaburi meant that Singh Tarua finished the weekend on top of the TPL.
Jay Bo was Muangthong's savior as they came from behind to beat 10 man Bangkok Glass 2-1. Chatree headed the Glass Rabbits in front in the 25th minute but they were dealt a double blow in first half stoppage time. Leesaw was harshly dismissed for receiving a second yellow card and then Kim Dong Jin headed home from close range. Teerasil set up Bothroyd to slot home the winning goal minutes after the hour.
Chonburi and BEC tero both kept up their unbeaten starts to the campaign. Rangsan was credited with Tero's winner at Army while Thiago Cunha's brace in the first 20 minutes was enough to see Chonburi over the line against Chiang Rai United.
Samut Songkhram doubled their point tally for the season after their 1-1 draw at Buriram. The TPL champions dominated the chances but only had a Suchao penalty to show for their efforts as full time approached. Buriram were made to pay for their missed chances when Issarapong curled in a free kick from the edge of the box.
Roi Et Utd 0-1 Nakhon Ratchasima
Saraburi 1-1 Nakhon Pathom Utd
Ang Thong 5-1 Khon Kaen
Ayutthaya 1-2 BBCU
Siam Navy 1-0 Chiang Mai
Nakhon Ratchasima were solid yet unspectacular as they beat Roi Et United 1-0. Ivan Boskovic fired in the only goal of the game on the half hour mark. The win kept Korat top of the pile and they are closely followed by Ang Thong who smashed Khon Kaen 5-1. Villiam and Khampeng grabbed a double each after Sittipan had given the Rice Warriors a first half lead.
Ayutthaya have fallen off the pace recently and they suffered another loss yesterday. Late goals from Julius Oiboh and Pachara swung the tie in BBCU's favour. Saraburi have also been stuttering lately and they failed to beat Nakhon Pathom United. In fact, they would have lost had Baek Yongsun not grabbed a late equalizer.
It was another low scoring affair in Sattahip. Siam Navy edged out Chiang Mai 1-0 with the only goal coming from Tinnapob in the 73rd minute. Both sides had a player sent off in injury time.
Chainat 2-0 TOT
Osotspa Saraburi 7-0 Songkhla Utd
Bangkok Utd 0-1 Police
Singh Tarua 1-0 Suphanburi
Air Force 2-2 PTT Rayong
Singh Tarua regained top spot after a 1-0 win over Suphanburi. Joo Sung Hwan's first goal for his new club was the difference between the pair. Nevertheless, a win for Ratchaburi at Sisaket later today would knock Tarua off the crest of the league.
Osotspa recorded their first victory at the Rajamangala in some style as they smashed Songkhla for seven without reply. Komenan's treble ensured that he kept the match ball while the other goals were from Chananan (2), Da Silva and Katano.
Things aren't looking bright at the Thai Japanese Stadium after Bangkok United suffered a 1-0 home loss to Police. Wisarut's dipping shot in the 33rd minute was a worthy match winner. The win for Police helped them jump above Bangkok United in the standings.
Last weekend, PTT Rayong threw away a two goal advantage. This time they salvaged a point from a similar deficit. Tirer and Honey had given Air Force a 2-0 lead with 17 minutes left on the clock. However poor defending was Air Force's downfall as they allowed late goals from Sanchez and Adisak.
TOT lost their unbeaten away record losing 2-0 at Chainat. A free kick from former Chonburi favourite Athit opened the scoring in the 58th minute. The owners of the worst kit in Thai football increased their advantage when Sumanya scored ten minutes from time.
Pattaya Utd 3-0 Sriracha Ban Bueng
TTM 0-0 Krabi
Phuket 3-1 Bangkok FC
Phitsanulok 1-0 Trat
Phuket won the big match of the day beating promotion rivals Bangkok FC 3-1. Anusak netted twice in the first half before Woranat pulled one back on the hour. Christian Alex secured the win late on to move the Islanders level on points with Korat at the top.
Pattaya won the Chonburi derby 3-0 while Diego Alves got the only goal in Phitsanulok's 1-0 win over Trat. TTM and Krabi played out a stale 0-0 draw.
It was another gritty win for Singh Tarua as they beat Suphanburi 1-0. Joo Sung Hwan shrugged off the attentions of a Suphanburi defender to fire his side ahead in the 17th minute.
Suphanburi had a lot of possession but lacked penetration as Singh Tarua held out relatively easily until the break.
After the interval, Suphanburi should have had a penalty/free kick on the edge of the box when Jakkapong tripped the lumbering Lindemann. The German was clear through on goal but his lack of pace was evident as Jakkapong made up five yards on him.
Suphanburi knew it wasn't going to be their day when unmarked Bireme Diouf blasted his shot high and wide from the 18 yard line.
The game should have been put to bed seven minutes from time but Kroekrit wanted an extra touch on the ball which allowed a defender to come across and block his shot.
The win moved Singh Tarua back to the top of the league. Suphanburi's coach, Mano Polking, was very animated throughout the match and he appeared furious to have lost this game.
Chainat v TOT
Osotspa Saraburi v Songkhla Utd
Bangkok Utd v Police
Singh Tarua v Suphanburi
Air Force v PTT Rayong
Buriram Utd v Samut Songkhram
Sisaket v Ratchaburi
Army v BEC Tero
Chonburi v Chiang Rai Utd
Muangthong Utd v Bangkok Glass
So, are Ratchaburi and Singh Tarua to be considered as serious title contenders? The pair sit at the top of the table unbeaten after six matches. The foreign Tarua fans that I know are still keeping their feet firmly on the ground and their target is still to reach 40+ points to secure staying in the TPL. Anything higher than this would be regarded as a bonus at this moment in time. In their last two matches, Singh Tarua have kept clean sheets and their last three goals have come from sources other than Leandro. Avoiding defeat against Suphanburi on Saturday would extend Tarua's unbeaten home run to 17.
Ratchaburi fans on the other hand might be a tad more confident in their pursuit of the TPL crown. The Dragons recruited wisely during the break and the Spanish passing influence of coach Ricardo Rodriguez has worked wonders. In their next seven fixtures, Ratchaburi only face one side in the current top half of the TPL table and that is 8th placed TOT. This run of easier looking fixtures kicks off at Sisaket on Sunday.
The two sides in third and fourth meet in the weekend's finale with Muangthong hosting Bangkok Glass. The Glass Rabbits have flattered to deceive the last few seasons but this time there seems to be a bit more stability around the club. New boy Darko Tasevski has caught the eye, Leesaw is maturing with the captain's armband and Attaphol has been in the head coaching position for almost 365 days now. The same can not be said of Scott Cooper after he resigned last weekend from his brief tenure at the head of the Muangthong ship. From the outset the frosty chemistry between Cooper and the club owners never looked like a winning combination. The relationship had about as much chance of succeeding as Elton John's marriage to Renate Blauel did back in 1984.
Chonburi and BEC Tero are still undefeated but four draws from six have left the duo four points off the pace. Chonburi are at home to an improving Chiang Rai side while BEC Tero travel to Army United who are out to preserve their unbeaten home record.
TOT have a 100% record of draws away from their Laksi home. In four previous top league attempts Chainat have never beaten TOT. Osotspa haven't won a home fixture at the Rajamangala while their opponents Songkhla haven't won an away match. A pair of draws perhaps.
Last season's Division 1 meeting between Air Force and PTT Rayong ended with a 3-1 victory for the Airmen. That must feel like an eternity ago for the fans of Air Force as their TPL dream is slowly turning into a bit of a nightmare. PTT have adapted slightly better but they'll need to tighten up at the back after throwing away a 2-0 lead against Chonburi last Saturday.
While on the subject of squandering two goal leads, the visit of ailing Samut Songkhram should give Buriram the perfect pick me up after their disappointment in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday evening.
Pattaya Utd v Sriracha Ban Bueng
TTM v Krabi
Phuket v Bangkok FC
Phitsanulok v Trat
Roi Et Utd v Nakhon Ratchasima
Saraburi v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Ang Thong v Khon Kaen
Ayutthaya v BBCU
Siam Navy v Chiang Mai
Victories last weekend for Nakhon Ratchasima and Ang Thong saw them move ahead of the condensed pack behind them. Korat are undefeated and have only conceded twice in their opening half dozen games. The Swatcats will start as strong favorites when they travel up to struggling Roi Et United on Sunday.
Ang Thong also face struggling Issan opposition on this day when the host Khon Kaen.
Saraburi and Ayutthaya have the chance to amend 4 goal away losses as they return to base. Saraburi host Nakhon Pathom United while BBCU enter the ancient city of Ayutthaya without coach Arjhan Srong-Ngamsap who was sacked earlier in the week.
Bangkok FC have shaken off their hangover from missing out on promotion last year and have collected 10 points from the last 12 available. The Iron Bulls travel to a Phuket side that has won their last two fixtures 2-1.
After an impressive start, TTM have dropped to 8th after suffering back-to-back defeats. They entertain a beleaguered Krabi side that is struggling to find the back of the net. The Andaman Eagles have only netted three times which is four less than recently released striker Valci Junior and one less than their former bench warmer Christiano Lopes.
Lopes is currently at Pattaya and things are brighter down in Nong Prue after two successive victories. They play sibling club Sriracha and whether or not the outcome of this is decided on the pitch or in the boardroom is anybody's guess.
If you go by last weekend's results, the Phitsanulok v Trat match should be an away banker. Phitsanulok lost 6-0 at Korat while Trat disposed of Ayutthaya 4-0.
Siam Navy games have seen very few goals and their results resemble some form of binary code - 1-1, 0-1. 1-0, 1-0, 1-0, 1-1 - Chaing Mai are in Sattahip hoping to smash the code.