Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BEC Tero 2-1 Sisaket

BEC Tero edged past Sisaket to book themselves a spot in the last 8 of the Thai FA Cup.

The home side started on the front foot and forced a few early chances. Just as Sisaket looked to be getting into the game, Tero took the lead on 38 minutes when Ronnachai's shot from the edge of the box was deflected off a Sisaket defender into the net.

The lively Gilbert Koomson laid on Tero's second with a precise pass from the right, allowing Leesaw to strike home what proved to be the winner midway through the second half.

Rathinho pulled back a late goal for Sisaket from the spot after Piyachart clumsily tackled Tana in the box.

In the other FA Cup tie tonight, Pattaya were thumped 6-0 at home by Muangthong United.

The 8 remaining teams in the FA Cup are: Buriram PEA, Muangthong, BEC Tero, Sriracha, Army Utd, Songkla, Chainat and Loei City. I'm not sure when the draw for the quarter finals will be made, but I assume it will be in the next couple of days.

Weekend Preview 3-4 December

Chonburi v Army (Sat)
Police v Muangthong (Sat)
Bangkok Glass v BEC Tero (Sat)
TOT v Sriracha (Sat)
Osotspa v Sisaket (Sun)
TTM v Navy (Sun)
Pattaya v Khon Kaen (Sun)
Thai Port v Chiang Rai Utd (Sun)
Buriram PEA v Samut Songkhram (Sun)

The TPL boasts a full fixture card this weekend. It's the first time that all 18 teams have been involved on the same weekend since way back in August. With the title race basically done and dusted, the most significant game this weekend involves two teams in the relegation battle. TOT just above the relegation zone in 15th place, welcome Sriracha who sit 2 points below them in 16th position. Neither side can afford to lose this one. TOT may feel a point is adequate as they have five more consecutive home games to follow the Sriracha match. Time is quickly running out for the bottom two sides, Navy and Khon Kaen. Navy make the long trip up to TTM Phichit while Khon Kaen travel to Pattaya. The ban for Chonburi fans is still in place and there will officially be no Shark fans present at the IPE Stadium in Chonburi for the visit of Army United. It's good news for Bangkok Glass as they can finally return to the Leo Stadium after weeks of flooding has surrounded the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok road. They will gladly welcome BEC Tero on Saturday evening. Unfortunately for Pathumthani's other TPL side, Police United, they still can't return to the Thammasart and will play Muangthong at the Khao Plong Stadium in Chainat.  On Sunday, it's a mid-table battle in Klong Toei between Thai Port and Chiang Rai Utd. Incidentally, the three previous clashes between these two sides this season have been draws.

Division 1
RBAC v Thai Honda (Sat)
Songkla v Chiang Mai (Sat)
Bangkok Utd v Bangkok FC (Sat)
Suphanburi v Buriram FC (Sat)
JW Rangsit v Customs (Sun)
BBCU v Saraburi (Sun)
Raj Pracha v PTT Rayong (Sun)
Phuket v Chantaburi (Sun)
Chainat v Air Force (Sun)

A win for Buriram FC at Suphanburi would confirm their promotion to the TPL. A point may also be good enough for the Lava if Raj Pracha fail to beat PTT Rayong on Sunday. Wobbling BBCU have a home tie against draw experts, Saraburi. I wouldn't bet against this one ending in a low scoring draw. The big game at the other end of the table is RBAC v Thai Honda. Both sides are in desperate need for the 3 points. A loss for Honda would leave them in deep, deep trouble. The game that sounds like a Bangkok derby, but isn't, takes place at Din Daeng on Saturday evening. League wise, United have nothing to play for, although the new coaching staff will be aiming to build momentum for next season. On the other hand, Bangkok FC need at least a point from this game in their battle to beat the drop. On Sunday JW Rangsit will use the Royal Thai Military Academy in Nakhon Nayok for their home game with Customs. Air Force finally return to action with a difficult match up at TPL bound Chainat.

Division 2 Play-offs
(Group A) (Saturday)
Loei v Pattalung
Ratchaburi v Kasetsart
Phitsanoluk v Phichit

(Group B) (Sunday)
Krabi v Korat
Rayong v Nth Bkk
Lamphun v Roi Et

Krabi could book their place in Division 1 next season with victory over second placed Korat. Rayong FC will be hoping to seize back second spot if Korat lose in the south. The Wild Horses one game stadium ban is in effect for the North Bangkok fixture. Fortunately, Rayong fans don't have far to travel as they make the short journey to the 5km Stadium in Sattahip. In the other game, 4th placed Roi Et must keep winning and hope that other results work in their favour.

In Group A, Ratchaburi and Phitsanoluk should be too strong at home for Kasetsart and Phichit respectively. That will put extra pressure on Pattalung up in Loei. With games against Phichit and Kasetsart to follow, the Swallows wouldn't be too disappointed with a draw against Loei.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend Review 26-27 November

Sriracha 1-1 Osotspa
Police 0-0 Pattaya
BEC Tero 2-2 Muangthong
Sisaket 0-1 Thai Port
Army 2-0 TTM Phichit
Chiang Rai 2-2 Bangkok Glass
Navy 0-1 Buriram PEA
Khon Kaen 0-2 Chonburi

None of the six Bangkok TPL sides in action lost this weekend. I’m sure five out of the six of them would have been satisfied with this outcome. The exception is of course Muangthong United. Fowler’s side were leading 2-1 until Jakkrit equalized for Tero in the 95th minute. Those two dropped points have all but killed of any title hopes MTU had as they now sit in third place 13 points behind Buriram PEA. Bangkok Glass would have been chipper after salvaging a late point up in Chiang Rai and likewise Police United won’t be disappointed with a draw against inform Pattaya in Suphanburi. It’s been a fine week for Army United. They followed up their point at Muangthong last Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over TTM Phichit. The Thai Port players’ train journey up to Sisaket was a successful venture as they left Issan with 3 points. If coach Thongchai is superstitious and sees rail travel as a lucky omen, he might send his Port players on a subway journey before next Sunday’s home game against Chiang Rai United.

Division 1
Chantaburi 2-1 Suphanburi
Saraburi 2-2 Phuket
Chiang Mai 1-1 Bkk Utd
Customs 1-0 BBCU
Thai Honda 0-1 JW Rangsit
Bangkok FC 1-1 RBAC
PTT Rayong 5-0 Songkla

BBCU must be thankful for their excellent start to the season as their stuttering form of late continued with a 1-0 loss at Customs. It was a precious victory for the Samut Prakarn side as they moved above Bangkok FC into 14th spot after the Bulligans were held to a 1-1 draw by RBAC. RBAC remain third bottom as Chiang Mai failed to beat Bangkok United and Thai Honda lost a fiery contest against JW Rangsit 1-0. The team from Rangsit also won the red card count 2-1 as three players were dismissed. 

Division 2 Play-offs
(Group A) (Sat)
Kasetsart 2-3 Phitsanoluk
Phichit 1-1 Loei City
Pattalung 0-0 Ratchaburi

(Group B) (Sun)
North Bkk 1-2 Krabi
Roi Et 2-1 Rayong
Korat 1-0 Lamphun

Phitsanoluk were the only team to win in Group A on Saturday. They kept their outside chance of promotion alive as they won 3-2 at Kasetsart. That win moves them above Loei City into 3rd place. The top 2 of Pattalung and Ratchaburi drew 0-0 with each other.

In Group B, Rayong were the big losers this weekend as they lost 2-1 at Roi Et while Krabi and Korat won. Table toppers, Krabi, had to come from behind to beat North Bangkok 2-1 at the Thephasadin. Korat left it very, very, very late against the Lamphun Warriors. Their 89th minute winner in the 1-0 victory was scored at about 9.30 pm because the 6pm kick-off was delayed for 90 minutes due to a floodlight failure which started during the playing of the national anthem.

Latest Standings: (7 Games)
Group A - Pattalung 14, Ratchaburi 13, Phitsanoluk 10, Loei 9, Phichit 7, Kasetsart 4
Group B - Krabi 17, Korat 13, Rayong 11, Roi Et 9, Nth Bkk 5, Lamphun 3

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Siam Navy 0-1 Buriram PEA

Buriram PEA’s title quest continued with a narrow victory over Siam Navy in Sattahip.

The picturesque Royal Thai Navy Stadium
It was a typical effective and efficient performance from the Thunder Castle that wasn’t particularly spectacular for the watching spectators.

Franck Ohandza headed home a free kick to give the visitors the lead on the half hour mark.

Navy's best chances fell to Wutthichai, but the front man failed to test Siwarak in the PEA goal.

The victory consolidates Buriram PEA’s position at the top of the TPL, where they lead second-placed Chonburi by 13 points.

Navy remain second bottom, two points outside the safety zone.

Ohandza's goal was his 16th of the campaign and he is now second in the TPL scoring charts behind Chiang Rai United's Wasan on 17.

Attendance: 4,300 - that was according to the official stadium announcement. In my opinion, it should have been higher than that.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chantaburi 2-1 Suphanburi

Match winner - Labi
Chantaburi's Labi was the hero for the Hares today as his second half winner added to the goal he created in the first half.

Jirawat Khaewboran put the home side in front on 20 mins when he headed home Labi's cross following a jinking run from the African.

Santi levelled for Suphanburi 10 minutes later with a sweetly taken free-kick.

Midway through the second period, Labi put the Hares back in front when he latched on to a weak back pass from Suphanburi's Jorrin John.

A few minutes later, the away side were reduced to 10 players as goalscorer, Santi, was sent for an early shower after receiving two yellow cards.

Despite having a man advantage, Chantaburi held on nervously for the last 20 minutes as Suphanburi couldn't force a late equalizer.
Injury time - There was actually a 3rd Chantaburi player injured out of shot

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Weekend Preview 26-27 November

Sriracha v Osotspa (Sat)
Police v Pattaya (Sat)
BEC Tero v Muangthong (Sat)
Sisaket v Thai Port (Sat)
Army v TTM Phichit (Sun)
Chiang Rai v Bangkok Glass (Sun)
Navy v Buriram PEA (Sun)
Khon Kaen v Chonburi (Sun)
TOT v Samut Songkhram (4 Jan)

The TPL returns to almost its full compliment this weekend. The only two teams not involved are TOT and Samut Songkhram as the Laksi area where the TOT Stadium is situated is still under water. On Saturday, Muangthong's fading title bid takes them to BEC Tero. This game has some extra added spice as several Tero players were surplus to requirements at the Yamaha and were subsequently transferred to the Fire Dragons. Thai Port return to action for the first time in five weeks as they make the long journey into Issan to face Sisaket. The Suphanburi Provincial Stadium will host Police v Pattaya. The Insee faithful will have to make a 200km round trip to watch this home game. Last season this fixture didn't take place at Thammasart either and was played at the Bunyajinda Stadium in Vipavadee 62.
Army United earned a decent point at Muangthong on Tuesday night and will look to build on that as TTM visit the capital. It's been a tough time lately for the fans of Bangkok Glass. This Sunday they have a 24 hour round trip to Chiang Rai to contend with. Last time they met at the Leo, Glass scored two injury time goals to snatch a dramatic 3-2 victory.
In the other games not involving Bangkok sides, the three teams occupying the relegation spots welcome teams from the top half of the table. 

Division 1
Chantaburi v Suphanburi (Sat)
Saraburi v Phuket (Sat)
Chiang Mai v Bkk Utd (Sat)
Customs v BBCU (Sun)
Thai Honda v JW Rangsit (Sun)
Bangkok FC v RBAC (Sun)
PTT Rayong v Songkla (Sun)
Air Force v Raj Pracha (21 Dec)
Buriram FC v Chainat (30 Dec)

The big game between Buriram FC and Chainat has been rescheduled to 30th December for some unknown reason. That means BBCU could move above Chainat into second spot if they can beat Customs at the Forza Stadium. Defeat for Customs would be costly as the two teams they are sandwiched between in the league table, Bangkok FC and RBAC, clash this weekend. The Bulligans desperately need points and to aid them in this quest, they have allowed free entry for home fans. Another clash which is significant at the bottom of the table is Thai Honda v JW Rangsit. A win for JW would move them onto 33 points, whereas a win for Thai Honda could lift them of the bottom of the league. The Speed Kings will be hoping that Bangkok United can do them a favour up in Chiang Mai.

Division 2 Play-offs
(Group A) (Sat)
Kasetsart v Phitsanoluk
Phichit v Loei City
Pattalung v Ratchaburi

(Group B) (Sun)
North Bkk v Krabi
Roi Et v Rayong
Korat v Lamphun

The top 2 of Group A meet on Saturday in Pattalung. Ratchaburi won the reverse fixture between the pair and another win for the Dragons would take them back to the top of the league. If third placed Loei City can win in Phichit, they would definitely make up ground on the top 2. Failure to collect 3 points could see the end of City's promotion bid. Bottom side Kasetsart will be looking to build on their first win last week when they entertain Phitsanoluk at their Kampeang Saen university campus. A win for the Emerald Nagas could lift them off the foot of the table.

The North Bangkok Magical Mystery Tour continues as they will use the Thephasadin this weekend to host Krabi. It's the Horsemen's 7th game of the campaign and they've played at a different stadium on each occasion. For their previous two home games they used Chula Uni and the IPE Stadium in Chonburi. Nth Bangkok lost both of these games so they'll be hoping to make it third time lucky at the Thephasadin on Sunday. Roi Et desperately need 3 points at home to Rayong to keep any hopes of promotion alive. On the other hand, second placed Rayong would take a point as they'll feel confident of collecting 6 from their next two games at home to North Bangkok and Lamphun. The final game of this round is Korat v Lamphun. Anything other than home win for the Swatcats against the winless Lamphun Warriors would be seen as a massive disappointment.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend Review 19-20 November

Khon Kaen 1-1 Osotspa
Bangkok Glass 0-0 Pattaya
Samut Songkhram 0-1 Chonburi
Buriram PEA 6-1 TTM Phichit

Buriram PEA spanked TTM Phichit 6-1 as they moved 12 points clear of Muangthong United at the top of the TPL. The impressive Franck Ohandza moved joint top of the goalscoring charts as he bagged himself 4 goals. A crowd of 1,495 turned up at the Yamaha Stadium to watch Bangkok Glass and Pattaya play out a stalemate. In Samut Songkhram, Chonburi scored a 78th minute goal to earn a 1-0 victory. In the only Saturday game, Khon Kaen were held to a 1-1 draw by Osotspa and the T-Rex stay bottom of the league.

Division 1
RBAC 0-2 Buriram FC
Suphanburi 1-2 Saraburi
Chantaburi 0-2 Thai Honda

RBAC remain in the relegation places as they went down 2-0 to TPL bound Buriram FC. Meanwhile Thai Honda's 2-0 win in Chantaburi wasn't enough to lift them off the foot of the table, but it was sufficient to keep them in check with the rest of the relegation pack.

Division 2 Play-offs
(Group A)
Ratchaburi 1-1 Loei City
Kasetsart 2-1Phichit
Phitsanoluk 1-1 Pattalung

(Group B)
Roi Et 0-1 North Bangkok
Rayong 3-2 Korat
Lamphun 1-3 Krabi

It's as you were in Group A as the top 4 sides cancelled each other out with 1-1 draws. Pattalung would have been delighted with a point up at Phitsanoluk whereas Ratchaburi would have been disappointed of being pegged back by a 82nd minute Loei equalizer. Kasetsart were the only winners in the group this weekend as they finally won a game in the play-offs. The university side's victory was achieved at their Kampeang Saen campus in Nakhon Pathom.

It was more good news for the Bangkok sides as North Bangkok surprisingly earned a 1-0 victory at Roi Et. The late winner from the Horsemen inflicted Roi Et's first home league defeat on the pitch this season. Prior to this weekend, the Lamphun Stadium had played host to three consecutive 0-0 draws. The Lampun supporters finally witnessed some goals, unfortunately, most at the wrong end of the pitch as Krabi won 3-1. That victory now has the side from the south looking odds on for promotion.The game between Rayong and Korat was a lively one as Rayong ran out 3-2 winners. The Wild Horses finished the game with 10 men and at the final whistle a brawl erupted between opposition players which then subsequently spread into the stands between spectators. It now looks increasingly likely that Rayong and Korat will keep fighting each other on a football front to join Krabi in Divison 1 next season.

After 6 Matches:
(Group A) Pattalung 13, Ratchaburi 12, Loei 8, Phitsanoluk 7, Phichit 6, Kasetsart 4
(Group B) Krabi 14, Rayong 11, Korat 10, Roi Et 6, Nth Bkk 5, Lamphun 3

Saturday, November 19, 2011

RBAC 0-2 Buriram FC

Newin rallies his troops in the huddle
Buriram FC moved to within 3 points of clinching promotion to the TPL with a 2-0 victory over RBAC. The Lava took the lead with a first half free kick from Jirawat and a second half penalty from Douglas doubled that advantage.

The game started in a lively manner and on 10 minutes RBAC nearly took the lead in spectacular fashion when an overhead kick from Alonso flew inches over the bar.

Alonso and Kone Seydou
The Brazilian was picking himself off the deck again two minutes later this time courtesy of Kone Seydou's fist. The big African sucker punched the RBAC forward in an off the ball incident. The match officials didn't see it, but I certainly did!!

The opening goal came on 17 minutes when a Jirawat free-kick from 30 yards out was cruelly deflected off the RBAC wall past the stranded keeper into the net.

Buriram had chances to add to their lead with Somjed rattling the bar with a dipping shot, and Supakit called RBAC's keeper, Nuttapon, into action after he ran too easily through the RBAC midfield and defence.

It wasn't all one way traffic, and shortly before the interval, Umarin, in the Buriram goal finger tipped a low powerful shot from the lively Leonel Saint Prux around the post.

After the break, the hosts upped their intensity in their search for an equalizer, but on the hour mark, Buriram countered and a softish looking penalty was awarded when Rattapon brought down Somjed in the box. The Rattana Bundit man was subsequently red-carded as he was adjudged to have  been the last man.

Newly introduced sub, Douglas, stepped up to take the spot kick. He coolly slotted it past Nuttapon but was ordered to retake it for some reason. His second effort was blasted down the middle to wrap the 3 points up for the Lava.

After the sending off, Buriram should have increased their lead but were slightly wasteful with the chances they created.

As for RBAC, they shouldn't be to dejected with the loss. They'll feel the major decisions didn't go their way today and overall they didn't play too badly against a side that boasts several TPL quality players in their ranks.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Weekend Preview 19-20 November

Khon Kaen v Osotspa (Sat)
Bangkok Glass v Pattaya (Sun)
Samut Songkhram v Chonburi (Sun)
Buriram PEA v TTM Phichit (Sun)

Buriram PEA will open a 12 point lead on Muangthong if they can beat TTM on Sunday. Muangthong United don't have a game this weekend although their Yamaha Stadium will host the Bangkok Glass v Pattaya match as the area surrounding the Leo Stadium is still flooded. The last time these two sides clashed was Feb 12th way back on the opening day of the season. That game must feel like an eternity ago for the residents of flooded Pathumthani.
Khon Kaen could move off the bottom of the league and only one point from safety if they can collect three points against Osotspa. Samut Songkhram also needs points to beat the drop and a victory over Chonburi would give them some much needed breathing space from the bottom 3 sides.

Division 1
RBAC v Buriram FC (Sat)
Suphanburi v Saraburi (Sat)
Chantaburi v Thai Honda (Sun)

Buriram FC need only six points from their remaining seven games to ensure promotion to the TPL. The Lava will cut that target in half if they can win at RBAC. On the other side of the coin, RBAC would move out of the relegation zone for the first time this season if they can win this one.

Division 2 Play-offs
(Group A) (Saturday)
Ratchaburi v Loei City
Kasetsart v Phichit
Phitsanoluk v Pattalung

(Group B) (Sunday)
Roi Et v North Bangkok
Rayong v Korat
Lamphun v Krabi

The current standings after 5 games at the half way stage is:

Group A - Pattalung 12, Ratchaburi 11,  Loei 7, Phitsanoluk 6, Phichit 6, Kasetsart 1

Group B - Krabi 11, Korat 10, Rayong 8, Roi Et 6, Lamphun 3, North Bangkok 2

Wins for Pattalung and Ratchaburi this Saturday would almost guarantee them a spot in Division 1 next season. Three points for either wouldn't necessarily cue the popping of champagne corks, but I reckon it would be prudent to start chilling the bottles of bubbly. Kasetsart's promotion bid has already sunk and the subdued Jatujak side will play a low key match against Phichit at their university campus in Kampheang Saen, Nakhon Pathom.

Last weekend Korat had to withstand a second half barrage from Rayong in their 2-0 victory over the Wild Horses. Both sides meet again this Sunday and Rayong need a win to move back into one of the promotion places. Korat on the other hand, would surely settle for a point as that would keep them in the top 2. If Roi Et hadn't been docked 3 points for fielding to many foreigners against Korat on matchday 1, they'd be sitting in second place. The White Squirrels have three of their remaining five games at home with struggling North Bangkok being the first of those visitors. The other game in the group is Lamphun v Krabi. The Warriors faithful have had to endure 3 stalemates at he their home venue in the play-offs. Will they finally see a goal this weekend?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thailand 0-1 Australia

Thailand were left barely clinging on to qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup after a 1-0 loss to Australia at the Supachalasai Stadium. Their faint hopes were kept alive when Oman held Saudi Arabia to a 0-0 draw in Riyadh. In the final game Thailand must win in Oman and hope that the Socceroos can take care of the Saudis in Australia.

This game looked to be heading towards a goalless draw until the two Bretts combined with an unmarked Holman nodding home an Emerton cross with 14 minutes left on the clock.

Australia were subdued for most of the match, and Thailand should have taken the lead on 35 minutes through Suree. He got past Australia's left back, Zullo, and with a clear run on goal he seemed to panic and blasted his shot over the bar. The Chonburi man controlled the through pass perfectly, but with lack of options in the box, he reluctantly took the shot on.

The game appeared to be harmlessly sailing out to a 0-0 draw until Holman netted on the 76th minute. The closest Thailand came to equalizing was when newly introduced substitute, Pipob, headed inches over on 79 minutes.

The Socceroos held out reasonably comfortably after that to book their place in Round 4. It wasn't a great performance for Australia although they'll be happy with the outcome.

For Thailand, it's now 3 games without a goal. The national side has improved massively under Winfried Schaefer and let's hope there will be no knee-jerk reaction from the FAT if Thailand fail to qualify. I was surprised though that the German chose to start with a striker that has only scored one TPL goal this season whilst leaving the lively, Pipob, on the bench. Also why have the top three TPL scorers been omitted from his squad?

A miserable evening was completed for Kirati when he was stretchered off in the 78th minute. The majority of the crowd were unhappy that Australia played on after Kirati crashed into the big Aussie keeper, Mark Schwarzer. After the match the Fulham stopper tweeted "First time tonight I have every played on when a player has gone down 'injured' we just have had enough of the constant diving and acting!"

In Australia's defence, there were three or four occasions when Thai players just lay down waiting for play to be stopped for treatment. The ball was kicked out each time, only for the Thai player to bounce straight off the stretcher back on to the field. Eventually a Thai player, Kirati,  was seriously injured, but the referee and opposition players had had enough by then and played on.

In Thai football culture, play is expected to be stopped any time a player is injured. Unfortunately this rule gets abused with constant faking of injuries especially if a team holds an advantage. Referees are slowly becoming wise to this and there have been times this season when play has been waved on with an injured player lying on the ground much to the bemusement of the Thai crowd. It really irks me when a see a player lying down waiting for treatment as his side are defending. He's basically leaving his side a player short and at a disadvantage. The first rule of football is "PLAY TO THE WHISTLE."
If Thailand want to improve standards in their game then the feigning of injury needs to be stamped out and it must be understood that it is the match officials that decide when play is stopped, not the players!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend Review 11-13 November

World Cup Qualifier - Group D
Saudi Arabia 3-0 Thailand
Oman 1-0 Australia

Thailand v Australia (Tues)
Saudi Arabia v Oman (Tues)

Three second half goals in Riyadh, severely dented Thailand's attempts to reach Round 4 as they lost 3-0 to Saudi Arabia. The home side dominated from the outset and Winnie Schaefer can have no complaints about the final result, although he may be questioning the ease of how a couple of the Saudi goals were scored.
Thailand's next opponents, Australia, lost their 100% winning record as they suffered a 1-0 defeat in Oman. The Socceroos only need a point from their last two games to ensure qualification to the next stage and they be hoping to avoid any last day drama by collecting at least a point in Bangkok on Tuesday night. On the same evening, Saudi Arabia will host Oman.
For Thailand the equation is simple; win the last two games and they'll qualify. Four points might be good enough, but then the Thais would be relying on results from elsewhere working in their favour.

The current league standings are: Australia 9 points, Saudi Arabia 5, Thailand 4 and Oman 4.

TTM Phichit 0-0 Police Utd

The TPL siesta continues.......Wake me up when it starts again!!!

Division 1
Chantaburi 2-1 Saraburi

Chantaburi move out of the drop zone after their 2-1 victory over Saraburi.

Division 2 Play-offs
(Group A)
Loei City 1-1 Ratchaburi
Pattalung 2-0 Phitsanoluk
Phichit 3-1 Kasetsart

(Group B)
Krabi 3-0 Lamphun
North Bangkok 0-2 Roi Et
Korat 2-0 Rayong

Pattalung returned to the top of Group A with 2-0 win over Phitsanoluk. They overtook Ratchaburi who scored late on to draw 1-1 at Loei City. The two top sides of Pattalung and Ratchaburi look odds on for promotion to Division 1. Pattalung top the group with 12 points and are closely followed by Ratchaburi on 11. There is then a 4 point gap to third placed Loei City. Kasetsart are now marooned at the bottom after their 3-1 defeat in Phichit. The Bangkok side have only picked up one point from five games.

Krabi held onto top spot in Group B after they comfortably disposed of Lamphun 3-0. The other movers this week were the north-eastern duo of Korat and Roi Et. Both sides won 2-0 with Korat beating Rayong and Roi Et defeating North Bangkok at the IPE Stadium in north Chonburi.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Weekend Preview November 11-15

World Cup Qualifier - Group D
Saudi Arabia v Thailand (Fri)
Oman v Australia (Fri)

Thailand v Australia (Tues)
Saudi Arabia v Oman (Tues)

The Socceroos need just one win from their last three games to guarantee progression to the next stage of World Cup qualification. With the advancement of the Australian side almost a certainty, it leaves a three way fight between Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Oman for the second qualification spot. Frank Rijkaard's Saudi side will be confident of making it as they have two home games against Thailand and Oman, and possibly a relaxed Aussie side when they travel Down Under on the last day. For Thailand, they need to go Riyadh on Friday and get at least a point. A loss wouldn't end their qualification prospects, but it would leave them probably needing 6 points from Australia at home and Oman away to reach the next round. A win for Australia in Oman would be a big boost for Thailand as it would surely nullify the threat of Paul la Guen's Oman side.

The current league standings are: Australia 9 points, Thailand 4, Saudi Arabia 2 and Oman 1.

TTM Phichit v Police Utd (Sat)

The stop-start TPL season has meandered along aimlessly and it's been hard to keep focus and to a lesser extent, interest, as to what's been happening lately. The only game this weekend is a rearranged one between TTM and Police Utd. The Insee boys failed to turn up for their last scheduled game against Buriram PEA, and were subsequently booted out of the FA Cup. A victory for Police Utd would lift them into 5th place in the TPL.

Division 1
Chantaburi v Saraburi (Sun)

A point for Chantaburi would move them out of the relegation zone. Saraburi have drawn 50% of their games this season. I wouldn't bet against a draw in this one.

Division 2 Play-offs
(Group A)
Loei City v Ratchaburi (Sat)
Pattalung v Phitsanoluk (Sat)
Phichit v Kasetsart (Sun)

(Group B)
Krabi v Lamphun (Sun)
North Bangkok v Roi Et (Sun)
Korat v Rayong (Sun)

Matchday 5 and 6 will be double headers as the fixture list mirrors itself. In Group A leaders, Ratchaburi, travel to Loei City. The Dragons will fancy beating Loei at home next weekend so they may well settle for a point up in Issan. A win for Pattalung over Phitsanoluk would set them up nicely for the run in. If they won, Pattalung would open up a 5 point advantage with 5 games to play over their northern opponents and it would leave Phitsanoluk with a mountain to climb. Phichit and Kasetsart will play on Sunday in their bids to avoid the wooden spoon.
North Bangkok will use their 5th home venue this year as the IPE Stadium in Chonburi will host their game against Roi Et. The White Squirrels will see the double header against Nth Bangkok as a must for 6 points, and an opportunity to close in on the promotion places. Leaders, Krabi will need to take advantage against Lamphun as closest rivals Rayong and Korat will clash in the next two games. The game between Korat and Rayong doesn't advocate many goals as Rayong's 4 games so far have averaged 0.5 goals per game, while noises coming from the Swat Cat fan club suggest growing frustration with their coach's negative tactics.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekend Review 5/6 November

Div 2 Play-offs
(Group A)
Loei City 3-1 Phichit
Ratchaburi 2-0 Pattalung
Phitsanoluk 2-0 Kasetsart

(Group B)
Krabi 1-1 North Bangkok
Rayong 1-0 Roi Et
Lamphun 0-0 Korat

Ratchaburi moved to the top of Group A after a goal in each half gave them a 2-0 victory over Pattalung. Pornchai and David Bayiha were on target for the Dragons. Phitsanoluk and Loei kept their promotion hopes alive with home wins. City came from behind to beat Phichit 3-1 while Phitsanoluk comfortably saw off the goal shy Kasetsart 2-0.

In Group B, leaders Krabi, were surprising held to a 1-1 draw by North Bangkok. Nevertheless, the team from the south remain top on goal difference with 8 points. Rayong FC moved into second spot and level on points with Krabi. A packed stadium in Rayong, watched the Wild Horses grind out a 1-0 victory over Roi Et. Rayong have only scored 2 goals in 4 games so far, but more importantly they have kept 4 clean sheets. Korat dropped to third place as the Lamphun Stadium played host to its third consecutive 0-0 draw. The Emerald Chariots of Lamphun certainly haven't been on fire in front of goal as poor finishing cost them against a stuttering Korat side.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weekend Preview 5/6 November

Division 1
Saraburi P-P Songkla

As expected, this game has been called off.

Div 2 Play-offs
(Group A) (Sunday)
Loei City v Phichit
Ratchaburi v Pattalung
Phitsanoluk v Kasetsart

(Group B) (Saturday)
Krabi v North Bangkok
Rayong v Roi Et
Lamphun v Korat

The pick of this weekend's fixtures is the clash of 2nd placed, Ratchaburi, and league leaders, Pattalung. Both teams are unbeaten going into this, and the winner of the contest will lead the table as we almost approach the halfway stage of the play-offs. Elsewhere in Group A, Phitsanoluk host Kasetsart, and Loei welcome Phichit to their provincial stadium. All four sides are playing catch-up and can't afford to lose any more ground on the top 2.

The match between Rayong and Roi Et in Group B is an appealing one.  Rayong haven't lost a home game this season and their goal has yet to be breached in the play-offs. Roi Et have only won 8 out of their 16 games on the road, so the form book points towards the home side remaining unbeaten.  While I'm in the stat mode, Lamphum have only leaked 6 goals in their 17 home games this season. The Warriors have drawn their two previous play-off home games 0-0 and the Swatcats from Korat would probably be happy for Lamphun to complete a treble of stalemates come Saturday teatime. It's top versus bottom as Krabi entertain North Bangkok. The side from the south will be expecting to win this one. I can see it being a tight game with Krabi winning by the odd goal.