Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oman 2-0 Thailand

The quest for qualifying for Brazil 2014 ended as Thailand meekly lost 2-0 to Oman.

The crowd in the blazing afternoon sun didn't have long to wait for the opening goal. On 9 minutes, Adbul Aziz Mubarak got behind the Thai back 4 and despite the attention of three defenders, he managed to square the ball to an unmarked Hussain Al Hadri who netted from 12 yards out.

The tempo of the rest of the half was understandably rather slow in the desert heat although Thailand did have a good chunk of the possession without ever threatening Al Habsi in the Oman goal.

On the stroke of half-time, Oman almost doubled their lead as Amad Ali's curling effort hit the bar.

Again the pattern of play at the beginning of the second period mirrored the first half with Oman quite happy to let Thailand have possession in their own half. The Omanis seemed to know that play would eventually break down and they could pounce on the counter.

With Thailand looking like they were running out of time and ideas, they had their best chance of the game when newly introduced substitute, Leesaw, hit the post on 71 minutes.

Oman should have wrapped the game up with 10 minutes left on the clock but Darwish blazed over the goal from six yards out when it was easier to score.

Leesaw was then sent off on the 85th minute for a reckless lunge that struck the falling Al Mukhaini in the chest. The BG man can have zero complaints when he sees the relpay.

The game was over as a contest as the impressive Mubarak beat Kawin at his near post after a swift counter attack.

The 2-0 win was good enough for Oman to progress to the next qualifying stage as Saudi Arabia surrendered a 2-1 lead in Melbourne to lose 4-2 to Australia.

So, it's another disappointing end to a campaign that proved so promising. For the supporters and regular followers of Thai football, it's common knowledge who is responsible for obstructing the advancement of the national side. Let's just say that the blame shouldn't land on the doorstep of Winnie Schaefer and his coaching team. Enough said!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oman v Thailand Preview

Oman v Thailand (Wednesday)

Thailand need to win at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat while at the same time they must hope that the Socceroos don't take their foot off the gas and beat Saudi Arabia in Melbourne. An Australia and Thailand double would ensure that the Thais progress to the next qualifying section for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

This qualifying campaign started well for the War Elephants despite losing their opening game 2-1 to Australia in Brisbane. That narrow defeat was followed by a splendid 3-0 win over Oman along with a well earned point in a goalless draw with the Saudis at the Rajamangala Stadium.

After three games, Thailand were in second spot in Group D and looking good for advancing to the fourth round. Since then though, Thailand were easily beaten 3-0 by Saudi Arabia in Riyadh and in November they lost 1-0 at home to Australia at the Supachalasai.

It's been three games now since the Thai attack have scored a goal in this group, plus conceding five goals in two away games suggests that the odds are against Thailand qualifying for the next stage.

It also won't help that the squad that traveled to Oman has several players unavailable through injury and suspension. The lack of adequate preparation caused by an extended 2011 season meant the Schaefer's troops could play only one warm up match which was an unchallenging encounter with Maldives last Friday.

Oman are a tough side to beat on home territory and this was highlighted when they beat Australia 1-0 in a recent World cup qualifier. The Omani side will be backed by a passionate home crowd although last week they overstepped the mark as crowd disturbances marred their 3-0 loss to South Korea in an Olympic qualifier. The Oman Football Association now awaits disciplinary action from FIFA.

The game will be shown live on Channel 9 at 16.30 on Wednesday.

Good luck Thailand!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Review 24-26 February

International Friendly
Thailand 3-0 Maldives

As expected, Thailand won comfortably defeating Maldives 3-0 in Chiang Mai with goals from Chatree, Teerasil and a Datsakorn penalty. It's now onto Muscat for the Thai national side to face Oman in their concluding World Cup Group D qualifier on Wednesday.

Div 2 BKK
Kasem Bundit 1-0 Bangkok Christian
Luk Issan Thai Airways 0-2 Krung Thonburi FC
Thai Honda 2-1 Prachinburi FC (Rayong United)
Nontaburi FC 0-1 Samut Sakhon FC
Globex FC 3-2 Rangsit FC
Customs United 4-4 North Bangkok FC
R-BEC Sasana 2-1 Kasetsart
Central Lions FC 2-0 Samut Prakarn Utd
Assumption Thonburi v Chamchuri Utd (Tuesday)

After two games Thai Honda, Globex and Central Lions still have 100% records having taken a maximum 6 points from their first two games. The trio will be joined by Chamchuri on Tuesday evening if they can beat Assumption Thonburi. At the other end of the table, things aren't looking good for Nontaburi, Luk Issan, Rangsit FC and Bangkok Christian who all sit at the bottom with zero points.

Div 2 Central/East
Samut Prakarn FC 0-3 Rayong FC

Rayong FC are showing that they mean business this season as they swept aside Samut Prakarn FC 3-0. The Wild Horses missed out on promotion to Division 1 last season when they conceded an injury time goal to Krabi in the final play off match. Rayong already top the table after two games and I expect that's the position they'll finish in come the end of the season.

Div 2 North East
Nakhon Phanom 3-1 Sisaket United 
Loei City 1-1 Roi Et United 

Nakhon Phanom's 3-1 victory over Sisaket United was a welcome one for the followers of Twitter's #SaveSisaketFC. All four goals came in the second half of this match as SMMTV finally served their audience with some goals.
On Sunday, Loei and Roiet cancelled each other out with a 1-1 draw. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

R-BEC 2-1 Kasetsart

Both sides were more or less unrecognizable from last season as there were plenty of new faces on show today. The home side were fielding many youth players from parent club BEC Tero while Kasetsart have started basically afresh after they had a clean out for failing to achieve promotion to Division 1 last year.

R-BEC (this appears to be the name they're going with) started the more brightly as they could have taken the lead twice within the first five minutes. On 25 minutes they did get their noses in front when Kasetsart failed to clear properly and Salia, the young African, got in between the two Kaset central defenders to give the Ladprao side the lead.

Within seconds Kasetsart levelled when their captain, Prachaya, headed home a cross from the right.

The first half was a lively end to end affair and 1-1 was a fair reflection of the first 45 minutes.

The second half became a bit scrappy, but with 15 minutes left, a low free-kick from 25 yards out beat Kaset's keeper, Narongdet, as Sanukran's kick crept into the bottom corner.

That goal proved to be the winner. R-BEC earned their first points of the season as they joined Kasetsart on 3 points. It's still far too early to predict how either side will do this season, but looking at Kasetsart, they certainly don't look any better than last season. The youngsters of R-BEC will face stiffer tests once the pitches become quagmires later on in the season.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Weekend 24-26 Feb Preview

International Friendly
Thailand v Maldives (Friday)

This warm-up match will be played at the Chiang Mai Stadium in preparation for the national team's trip to Oman next Wednesday. The Maldives are currently ranked 173 in the World Football Elo rankings, some 63 places below Thailand in 110.

Div 2 BKK
Kasem Bundit v Bangkok Christian
Luk Issan Thai Airways v Krung Thonburi FC
Thai Honda v Prachinburi FC (Rayong United)
Nontaburi FC v Samut Sakhon FC
Assumption Thonburi v Chamchuri Utd
Globex FC v Rangsit FC
Customs United v North Bangkok FC
RBAC - BEC Tero Sasana v Kasetsart
Central Lions FC v Samut Prakarn Utd

It's still early doors in the Bangkok region and as I mentioned last week it's far too early to be forecasting any promotion contenders from this batch of teams. Globex, Chamchuri, Kasetsart, North Bangkok, Central, Prachinburi and Thai Honda all accomplished opening day victories. Another 3 points for any of these teams this weekend would move them to the front of the pack for this enduring 34 game season.
Prachinburi FC are now playing in Klaeng, Rayong. In the Thai press this week, they've been referred to as "Prachinburi FC (Rayong United)." Most likely they will eventually evolve into Rayong United dropping any connections with Prachinburi.

Div 2 Central/East
There are three teams in the Central/East region that are playing at stadiums within a stone's throw of Bangkok. Samut Prakarn FC are currently using the Chalerm Prakiat 72 Stadium in Minburi. Thanyaburi Asia United are still at the Chalerm Prakiat Khlong 6 Stadium in Pathumthani and Pathumthani FC are playing at Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University near Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate.
This Sunday, Samut Prakarn FC welcome Rayong FC to the 72nd Anniversary Stadium in Minburi. If previous encounters between these pair are anything to go by, this promises to be a fiercely contested match both on and off the field.

Div 2 North East
Nakhon Phanom v Sisaket United (Saturday 4pm)
Loei City v Roi Et United (Sunday 5pm)

SMMTV, a new Thai media network, are screening live Division 2 games this season. Last weekend they chose two games from the Northern region and rather disappointingly they both finished in goalless draws. This weekend they'll be screening two games from the North East section. On Saturday the controversially newly formed Sisaket United travel to Nakhon Phanom, and Sunday sees the battle between last year's top two, Loei City and Roi Et Utd. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

AFC Champs League & AFC Cup Groups and Thai Fixtures

AFC Champions League
Group A: Al Jazira (UAE), Al Rayyan (QAT), Esteghlal (IRN), Nasaf (UZB)
Group B:  Al Arabi (QAT), Al Ittihad (KSA), Baniyas (UAE),  Pakhtakor (UZB)
Group C: Al Ahli (KSR),  Al Nasr (UAE), Foolad Sepahan (IRN), Lekhwiya (QAT)
Group D: Al Gharafa (QAT), Al Hilal (KSA), Al Shabab Al Arabi (UAE), Piroozi Athletic (IRN)
Group E: Adelaide United (AUS), Bunyodkor (UZB), Gamba Osaka (JPN), Pohang Steelers (KOR)
Group F: Beijing Guoan (CHN), Brisbane Roar (AUS), FC Tokyo (JPN), Ulsan Hyundai (KOR)
Group G: Central Coast Mariners (AUS), Nagoya Grampus (JPN), Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (KOR), Tianjin Teda (CHN)
Group H: Buriram United (THA), Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN), Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (KOR), Kashiwa Reysol (JPN)

7 Mar - Buriram United v Kashiwa Reysol
21 Mar - Guangzhou Evergrande v Buriram United
4 Apr - Buriram United v Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
17 Apr - Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors v Buriram United
1 May - Kashiwa Reysol v Buriram United
15 May - Buriram United v Guangzhou Evergrande

Buriram United have been handed a tough task as they have been drawn alongside the 2011 champions of China, Japan and South Korea. It would be a remarkable achievement for the Thunder Castle if they could finish in the top 2 and qualify for the next round. Any points picked up on the road would be a massive bonus so the importance for Buriram will be collecting points at home. March and April are hot months in Thailand and I doubt any of the three visiting sides in Group H will relish playing in the sticky tropical climate of Thailand.

Group A: Al Qadsia (KUW), Al Ittihad (SYR), Al Faisaly (JOR), Al Suwaiq (OMA)
Group B: East Bengal (IND), Kazma (KUW), Arbil (IRQ), Al Oruba (YEM)
Group C: Al Ahed (LIB), Al Ettifaq (KSA), Kuwait SC (KWA), VB Addu (MDV)
Group D: Neftchi (UZB), Salgaocar (IND), AL Arouba (OMA), Al Wahdat (JOR)
Group E: Al Shorta (SYR), Safa (LIB), Al Tilal (YEM), Al Zawraa (IRQ)
Group F: Kitchee (HKG), Terengganu (MAS), Song Lam Nghe An (VIE), Tampines (SIN)
Group G: Yangon United (MYA), Chonburi (THA), Citizen AA (HKG), Home United (SIN)
Group H: Kelantan (MAS) Ayeyawady United (MYA), Arema (IDN), Navibank Saigon (VIE)

7 Mar - Yangon United v Chonburi
21 Mar - Chonburi v Home United
3 Apr - Chonburi v Citizen
11 Apr - Citizen v Chonburi
24 Apr Chonburi v Yangon United
8 May - Home United v Chonburi

Chonburi's draw in the AFC Cup is far kinder and the Sharks should be able to negotiate their way out of this group. Citizen AA finished 6th in the 2011 Hong Kong First Division, Yangon United 3rd in Myanmar National League while Home United finished runners up to Tampines Rovers in the S-league. The trip to Singapore will reunite Chonburi's Ludo with his old club Home United. The Cameroonian spent two years with The Protectors back in the late noughties.

The group draw and fixtures have been taken from website:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend Review 17-19 February

Division 2 BKK
Bangkok Christian 0-3 Globex FC
Central Lions 2-1 RBAC-BEC Tero 
Customs Utd 1-1 Kasem Bundit
Samut Sakhon FC 1-1 Samut Prakarn United
Prachinburi FC 2-0 Assumption Thonburi
Chamchuri United 4-1 Luk Issan Thai Airways
Kasetsart 2-0 Nontaburi FC
Krung Thonburi 0-1 Thai Honda
Rangsit FC 0-1 North Bangkok FC

The Friday night opener ended with a surprising 3-0 win for Globex as they dispatched a youthful Bangkok Christian at the Thephasadin.
Chamchuri signalled their early intent the following day as they comfortably beat last season's bottom team, Luk Issan, 4-1. It was honours even in the battle of the "Samuts" as they drew 1-1 in Samut Sakhon. Central Lions and Prachinburi both scored home wins while recently relegated Customs got off to a disappointing start as they could only muster a point from their home game with university side Kasem Bundit.
On Sunday, last season's top 2, Kasetsart and North Bangkok, both got off to winning starts. Kasetsart beat Nontaburi 2-0 while North Bangkok won 1-0 at near neighbors Rangsit FC 1-0. In the other game, newbies Krung Thonburi lost 1-0 at home to Thai Honda.

ACL Playoff
Pohang Steelers 2-0 Chonburi

Underdogs Chonburi can be proud of themselves even though they lost 2-0 to the much fancied South Korean side Pohang Steelers. The Thai team, playing in unfamiliar chilly weather conditions, had a couple of good chances, but the Chonburi attack was well marshalled by the stronger looking Steelers back 4 throughout. A goal in each half was the Shark's undoing as they now have to contemplate life in the AFC Cup Group G with Citizen AA, Home United and Yangon United.

Toyota Cup Final
Buriram United 1-1 Vegalta Sendai (Buriram United won 4-2 on penalties)

Goalkeeper Sivaruck was the hero for Buriram United as he saved two penalties in the shoot out with Japanese side, Vegalta Sendai. Frank Achaempong gave Buriram a first half lead, but it was cancelled out in the second half by a Yoshiaki Ota penalty. The drawn tie headed straight to penalties and it was Buriram United who collected the Toyota Cup after a successful penalty shoot-out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Div 2 BKK Opening Weekend Preview 17-19 February

Division 2 BKK
Bangkok Christian v Globex FC
Central FC v RBAC FC
Customs v Kasem Bundit
Samut Sakhon FC v Samut Prakarn United
Prachinburi FC v Assumption Thonburi
Chamchuree United v Luk Issan Thai Airways
Kasetsart v Nontaburi FC
Krung Thonburi v Thai Honda
Rangsit FC v North Bangkok FC

The expanded 18 team Bangkok Division 2 kicks off this weekend. There are seven new teams joining the league this year and predicting a winner from this region is nigh on impossible as most teams will have totally revamped their squads during the close season.
The three relegated sides from Division 1 last term, Customs, RBAC and Thai Honda, will all be looking to bounce back at the first attempt.
The feisty Samut Sakhon have moved over from the Central & East region. The Proud Junk Ship (Oh yes!!) finished third in their league last season and will be hoping that the Bangkok region is an easier route to the Division 2 play-offs.
With last season's top three of Kasetsart, North Bangkok and Samut Prakarn United still looking strong, it indicates that there is plenty of strength in depth in this league.
Other teams like Nontaburi, Chamchuree, Bangkok Christian and Prachinburi can't be written off either, but they'll need to show more consistency after mid-tables finishes in 2011. 
Also joining the league are Central FC, Krung Thonburi and Rangsit FC. I can't see Central FC or Krung Thonburi challenging for promotion although Bangkok Glass's feeder club, Rangsit FC, might fancy their chances of hitting the top half.
Teams departing the league are NSRU, Raj Vithi, Thanyaburi Asia United, Maptaphut Rayong and Thai Fleet. Raj Vithi have decided to take a year out, NSRU have moved to the Northern region, while the undistinguished trio of Maptaphut, Thanyaburi and Thai Fleet have all shifted to a weakened looking Central & East league.
The opening fixture on Friday evening pits Bangkok Christian against Globex. The pick of the games on Saturday sees the reformed Central FC hosting an RBAC side who will be backed by BEC Tero Sasana this year. On Sunday the highlight will be a local derby for the recent Khor Royal Cup winners, Rangsit FC, as North Bangkok make the walkable trip along the Rangsit-Nakhon Nayok Road to the Leo Stadium.

ACL Playoff
Pohang Steelers v Chonburi (Sat)

Chonburi travel to South Korea to face Pohang Steelers in a one off qualifier for the Asian Champions league. The Korean side finished 2nd in the K-League last season which suggests it will be a difficult match for Chonburi at the Pohang Steelyard.

Toyota Cup Final
Buriram United v Vegalta Sendai (Sat)

This first official game for Buriram United against Japanese side Vegalta Sendai at the Supachalasai is basically just a friendly, but it will be taken far more seriously than it should be as there is a trophy awarded at the end. Expect to see plenty of snapshots taken before, during and after the game for various glossy media sites.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

List of BKK Div 2 Stadiums with Updated Map

Here's the latest list of stadiums being used for Bangkok's Division 2 sides this season. Many of these teams move from ground to ground and it's difficult to keep track of where they are playing at times. These are the stadiums currently listed by the TLO website fixtures.

Assumption Thonburi - Assumption College, Thonburi
Bangkok Christian - Thephasadin Stadium (BEC Tero)
Central FC - Rajamangala University of Technology, Rattanakosin
Chamchuree Utd - Chulalongkorn Stadium
Customs FC - Forza Stadium, Lad Krabang 54
Globex FC - Ramkhamhaeng University Stadium
Kasem Bundit - Kasem Bundit University, Romklao
Kasetsart - Kasetsart University, Kampaeng Saen *
Krung Thonburi - Mahidol University, Salaya
Luk Issan Thai Airways - Bunyajinda Stadium, Laksi
Nontaburi FC - Nontaburi Provincial Stadium
North Bangkok FC - North Bangkok University, Pathumthani
Prachinburi FC - Klaeng District Stadium, Rayong **
Rangsit FC - Leo Stadium (Bangkok Glass)
RBAC - Rattana Bundit University, Ladprao 107
Samut Prakarn Utd - Samut Prakarn United Stadium
Samut Sakorn FC - Samut Sakhon Provincial Central Stadium
Thai Honda - Technology Stadium, King Mongkut University, Lat Krabang

* Kasetsart will use their Kampaeng Saen stadium until their regular stadium is ready to use again after the damage caused bt the flood. 
** That's what it says!! Klaeng is about 200km from Prachinburi.

I've updated my google map for Bangkok stadiums.
Click this link:
Bangkok Football stadiums

I couldn't place Samut Prakarn United's new ground from the map on their website. Click\the link below:
Samut Prakarn Utd stadium

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Toyota League Cup Final - Thai Port 0-2 Buriram PEA

Buriram PEA claimed the domestic treble after overcoming Thai Port at the Supachalasai Stadium in Bangkok.

The downpour shortly before kickoff wasn't going to dampen Buriram's day although the sodden pitch did cause players of both sides to slip and slide making the game slightly farcical at times.

The opening goal came on 21 minutes when a left-footed inswinging free-kick from Rangsan curled into the top corner. It was probably meant as a cross but the quality of the delivery perhaps exposed the 178cm Thai Port keeper's lack of height as the ball sailed over him.

Thai Port fought hard for the 90 minutes but were unable to test Sivaruk in the Buriram goal.

With time running out, Buriram PEA sealed the contest deep into injury time. As Thai Port sent everyone upfield to press for an equalizer, Clarence Bintang broke from inside his own half and coolly trundled the ball into the vacant net from about 45 yards out.

Buriram weren't at their best today but they seemed to have that bit extra in their locker. It was a deserved win for the Thunder Castle and they'll be back at the Supachalasai in 2 weeks to face the Japanese side, Vegalta Sendai, in the Toyota Premier Cup.

It was a brave effort from the Khlong Toei side, but with lack of striking options it was always going to be a tough call to overcome PEA. The young lad Sarawut ran his socks off but he was plowing a lone furrow upfront for most of the game. The newly named Port FC now have to focus on next season and start finding replacements for the departing members from the squad. For me, the priority is to improve the spine of the team. A powerful leader at centre half is needed, a creative midfielder in the centre of the park, and a striker that will bag at least 15 goals a season. It should be an eventful 6 weeks at the PAT as Port FC prepare for their season opener yet again at Chonburi.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Toyota League Cup Final - Thai Port v Buriram PEA (Preview)

It's take two for the 2011 Toyota League Cup Final as the first scheduled match was postponed back in October due to the critical flooding situation north of the capital. It will be a rerun of last season's final as the holders, Thai Port, take on this season's league and FA Cup double winners, Buriram PEA. Last season, Port caused a minor upset when they beat PEA 2-1. This time around it would be seen as a major upset if Buriram failed to complete the domestic treble and Thai Port reclaimed the cup.

Buriram have had a fantastic season lifting the TPL trophy with ease (not literally) and overcoming bitter rivals Muangthong United in the FA Cup final. The squad has been blended together by coach Attapol with experienced Thai pros and skillful youngsters mostly from Africa. The two African lads at the back, Ekwalla Herman and Florent Obama have built a solid partnership while the tricky Frank Acheampong and the 2012 TPL leading scorer, Franck Ohandza, have grabbed all the headlines upfront.

Over in Khlong Toei it's been a season of turmoil despite the fact that Thai Port finished in a very creditable 7th place in the TPL. The boardroom troubles have been well documented and it's common knowledge in Thai football that the playing staff haven't been paid for months.
On the field Port have struggled for goals all season without any natural goalscorer in their squad and a blow was dealt midway through the season when coach Sasom and 4 Thai first team regulars departed for Buriram FC. More woes have hit the club in the last few weeks as the improving Mongkol and Todsapol have been snapped up by Muangthong, while foreigners Munze, Moise, Jacob and Kim Dong Chan have all been let go. Rumour has it that all the released players should be available to play in the final. We won't know for sure until the teams lineup for the final on Saturday evening.

The winners of the Toyota League Cup will pocket 5M Baht and will soon be back in action to meet Japanese clubside Vegalta Sendai in the Toyota Cup on 18th February.

EDIT: Thai Port players have seemingly received their back dated pay this morning. That will be a welcome boost for players' morale.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Division 2 Bangkok - First Round of Fixtures

The first round of fixtures were drawn for the Bangkok Regional League Division 2 today. Here is the line-up for the first weekend of action:

18 February
Chamchuree v Luk Issan Thai Airways
Central FC v RBAC
Prachinburi FC v Assumption Thonburi
Customs v Kasem Bundit
Bangkok Christian v Globex

19 February
Kasetsart v Nontaburi
Thai Honda v Krung Thonburi
Samut Sakorn FC v Samut Prakarn Utd
Rangsit FC v North Bangkok

The TPL and Division 1 fixtures were drawn yesterday but they are likely to change as there are still some unresolved issues regarding the Songkla/Buriram saga.

Check http: and for the latest fixture news.