Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekend Review 24-25 December

Pattaya 1-0 Army
Thai Port 3-1 Police
Bangkok Glass 4-0 Khon Kaen
Muangthong 1-2 Chonburi
Osotspa 1-1 BEC Tero
TOT 1-1 Chiang Rai Utd
Buriram PEA 2-1 Sisaket
TTM Pichit 2-2 Sriracha

Chonburi came from behind to beat Muangthong 2-1 infront of 17,500 spectators at the Yamaha Stadium. The Sharks are virtually assured a second placed finish as Muangthong's abject run under inexperienced coach Robbie Fowler continued.
At the bottom, Khon Kaen's one year stint in the TPL ended as they tamely lost 4-0 at Bangkok Glass. The T-Rex could shortly be joined by Sriracha and TOT as both sides could only take a point from their respective games. Sriracha need to win their last three to have any chance of staying up. Army United on 36 points aren't quite safe yet as they lost to an injury time goal at Pattaya. In the other games there were home wins for Buriram PEA and Thai Port while Osotspa and BEC Tero shared the spoils in Saraburi.

Division 1
PTT Rayong 1-2 Bangkok FC
BBCU 0-2 Buriram FC
Songkla 3-2 Thai Honda
JW Rangsit 0-2 Chantaburi
Raj Pracha 3-2 Chiang Mai
Bangkok Utd 2-3 Customs
RBAC 0-2 Saraburi
Phuket 1-1 Air Force
Suphanburi 3-0 Chainat

Two second half goals for Buriram FC mean that BBCU have to take one point from their last game at Air Force to finally confirm their place in the TPL. The only team capable of catching BBCU are Songkla who will need to win their last three games and rely on Air Force doing them a favour.  
Chiang Mai will accompany RBAC and Thai Honda in Division 2 next season and at the Thai Japanese Stadium after 75 minutes of play, it appeared that Customs would be joining them as they were 2-0 down to Bangkok United. However, the Forza weren't going to submit that easily and they astonishingly fought back to win 3-2. That win lifted Customs to within one point of JW Rangsit who lost at their temporary Nakhon Nayok home to Chantaburi. Bangkok FC and Suphanburi earned impressive wins to ease their relegation fears and likewise Air Force secured a decent point down in Phuket.

Division 2 Play-offs
Korat 1-2 Ratchaburi 
Krabi 1-2 Pattalung 

Ratchaburi are 2.5m Baht richer after goals from Pornchai and Wander helped them beat Korat 2-1 to win Division 2 Champions League.The Dragons were presented with the Division 2 trophy as players, club officials and fans celebrated at the Supachalasai Stadium.

Pattalung won the battle of the south in Trang to take third place. 

Overall, the Division 2 play-offs have been enjoyable with both groups remaining competitive right up to the final round of fixtures. Despite the flooding situation, every game went ahead on it's scheduled weekend. The TPL organizers could learn something from their younger siblings at the Regional league.
Ratchaburi, Korat, Krabi and Pattalung will enter a strong first division next year as teams from the provinces are slowly replacing corporate and university sides such as Thai Honda and RBAC. The four promoted sides will now have the best part of three months to rest and then start preparing for next season. That's already one advantage they'll have on their competitors for next season.

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