Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Review 28-29 April

Samut Songkhram 1-2 Thai Port
TTM 0-0 Bangkok Glass
Chiang Rai Utd 1-1 Chainat
TOT 1-2 Police
Pattaya Utd 2-2 Isan Utd
Muangthong 2-0 BBCU
Chonburi 3-1 Osotspa Saraburi
Wuachon Utd 2-0 Army

Thai Port finally lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 victory at Samut Songkhram. Saynee gave the home side an early lead but goals either side of the break from Kiatjaroen and Watson meant the 3 points headed to Khlong Toei.
The other two matches on Saturday ended in draws. Antonio Claudio's header 10 minutes from time cancelled out Chainat's first half lead to earn the Fighting Beetles a point, and TTM etched out their fourth 0-0 draw of the season. The Chiang Mai side still haven't scored in 540 minutes of competitive action this season. On Saturday, they played the majority of the game against 10 men after Flavian Michelini was dismissed for BG in the first half. Having watched a replay of the sending off, it's unclear why the Frenchman was dismissed. Bangkok Glass will study video evidence before deciding whether to appeal the sending off.
Yesterday, Muangthong returned to the top of the table for the first time since 2010 as a Teerasil double helped to see off a stubborn BBCU. Chonburi needed two late goals to beat Osotspa 3-1 while Wuachon have sneaked unnoticed into the top 6 with a 2-0 over Army.
After an uninspiring start to the season, Police United won 2-1 in Laksi against TOT to move into the top half of the table. After early season promise, Pattaya United are moving in the opposite direction as they threw away 2 points conceding two late goals to draw 2-2 with Isan United. To make matters worse, the Dolphins had an injury time penalty saved by Ulrich Munze.

Division 1
Raj Pracha 1-0 Songkla
Korat 2-5 PTT Rayong
Khon Kaen 1-1 Siam Navy
Saraburi 1-1 Ratchaburi
Suphanburi 4-0 Chantaburi
Sriracha 4-2 FC Phuket
Pattalung 0-1 Air Force Utd
Bangkok Utd 0-1 Krabi
Bangkok FC 5-0 JW Rangsit

It was raining goals in Division 1 this weekend with 29 goals netted in nine games. Bangkok FC and PTT both manged to hit five. PTT Rayong were literally too strong for the Swat Cats as they won 5-2 in Korat while the Bulligans thrashed JW Rangsit 5-0 with Lee Tuck weighing in with a brace.
Suphanburi disposed of the hapless Chantaburi 4-0 and Sriracha also scored four at home to Phuket to record a 4-2 victory.
Krabi's 1-0 win at Bangkok United moved them top as Ratchaburi were held to a 1-1 draw at Saraburi.

Division 2 Bangkok
Customs Utd 1-1 Chamchuri Utd
Rangsit FC 0-1 Thai Honda
Kasem Bundit 2-1 Assumption Thonburi
Luk Isan 3-0 R-BEC
Samut Sakhon 2-0 Central Lions
Nonthaburi 1-1 Samut Prakarn Utd
Bangkok Christian 2-2 Kasetsart
Globex 1-2 Krung Thonburi

Division 2 Bangkok saw its leadership change three times within the space of 24 hours. On Friday evening, R-BEC lead the way but they were overtaken by Thai Honda after the Speed Kings 1-0 win at Rangsit. R-BEC could have returned to the top the following day but they were soundly beaten by Luk Esan 3-0. Instead it was Samut Sakhon who took control of the league with a 2-0 home victory over Central Lions.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bangkok United 0-1 Krabi

Krabi moved to the top of Division 1 with a second half winner from pint-sized Laotian, Soukhaphone Vongchiengkham.

The first half was rather tepid although Bangkok United did strike the woodwork twice. Theerawat, in the Krabi goal, knocked a glancing header onto the crossbar while Jaruwat struck the post five minutes before the interval.

Krabi improved and made much of the running after half time. The breakthrough came on 51 minutes when Soukhaphone latched onto a headed through ball for his third goal of the season.

Antonin Trilles produced a couple of good saves to keep the home side in the contest and midway through the half the Angels were given a golden opportunity to equalize.

Sompong on ground after penalty decision
Sompong was nudged in the back by a Krabi defender and a penalty was awarded much to the displeasure of the away side. The ex-Thai Port man dusted himself down to take the spot kick, but his soft effort was easily saved by Theerawat.

The Energy
Theerawat palmed a shot around the post in injury time as "The Energy" held out for the win. Krabi weren't at their best in the first half, but they showed enough in the second to suggest that they'll be in the thick of the promotion race. Bangkok United though, severely missed their French talisman, Romain Gasmi. I'm not sure if he was injured or suspended tonight, but without Gasmi, Bangkok United lacked creativity.

AFC Matchday 5 - Preview

AFC Champions League - Group H
Kashiwa Reysol v Buriram United
Guangzhou Evergrande v Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

As we enter the penultimate round of fixtures, all four teams still have realistic hopes of clinching spots in the last 16. Guangzhou Evergrande lead the way on 7 points and are closely followed by Jeonbuk and Buriram on 6 with Kashiwa two points adrift on 4.
Buriram United are currently third in the group after suffering back-to-back defeats to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. The South Korean side sit second as their better head-to-head record unfortunately trumps Buriram's superior goal difference.
Kashiwa Reysol have had a troublesome time since winning their first J-League title last year. They are currently lingering just above the relegation zone in the J-League, and a loss to Buriram on Matchday 5 would add to their woes with elimination from the AFC Champions League.
Buriram probably need at least 4 more points to qualify so losing is not an option in Japan. The Thai champions have defended poorly in the last couple of matches and will need to tighten up at the back. However with the lively Achaempong and the tenacious Ohandza in the squad, you always feel that Buriram can find goals.
Guangzhou pummelled Jeonbuk 5-1 in South Korea on Matchday 1 and another victory for the Chinese side would ensure their furtherance to the next round.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Luk Esan Thai Airways 3-0 RBAC BEC Tero Sasana

R-BEC dropped to third in Division 2 Bangkok after they were well beaten by resurgent Luk Esan.

Ref takes control. The dude in the white is having a slash lol
It must have been touching 40 degrees Celsius as they game kicked off at 4pm with no shade to protect the players on the pitch.

R-BEC made a lively start but it was Pinyo who opened the scoring for Luk Esan on 19 minutes when he reacted quickest to a long free kick to strike a low shot as the away side's defence were caught napping.

Luk Esan were sprightly on the counter attack and on 78 minutes Pinyo got his second as he latched onto a through ball from the middle of the park.

Game over - 3-0
Santipong converted an 87th minute penalty for the third to ensure the 3 points headed the way of the Police United second string.

R-BEC have a 100% record at home but they've struggled away from Ladprao 107 collecting only 2 points out of a possible 15 on the bigger pitches. Luk Esan might not be in the promotion shake-up come the end of the season but they are certainly not the cannon fodder they were last year.

Attendance: 152

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Weekend Preview 28-29 April

Samut Songkhram v Thai Port
TTM v Bangkok Glass
Chiang Rai Utd v Chainat

TOT v Police
Pattaya Utd v Isan Utd
Muangthong v BBCU
Chonburi v Osotspa Saraburi
Wuachon Utd v Army
BEC Tero P-P Buriram Utd (24 June)

Bangkok Glass are the highest placed team in action this weekend. They will go to the top of the league on Saturday evening if they beat TTM as the BEC Tero v Buriram United fixture has been rescheduled to a later date due to Buriram's involvement in the AFC Champions League next Tuesday. BG's match at TTM will be a massive test of their title credentials. Over the last couple of seasons, away games to sides in the bottom half of the table have been their undoing. Too often, the Glass Rabbits have put in inept performances and lost these types of matches. Despite being bottom of the league, TTM oddly boast the equal best defensive record in the TPL with only two goals conceded. TTM's coach has blamed his side's poor start on excessive travelling to away matches. If they lose this home encounter against Bangkok Glass, he'll have to come up with a fresh excuse.
The other two games on Saturday are between Samut Songkhram v Thai Port and Chiang Rai Utd v Chainat. Thai Port have a wretched record in Mae Khlong but they'll see this one as a chance to to extend their non losing streak to three games. Chiang Rai Utd are unbeaten at home this term while Chainat have yet to lose on the road which suggests a point each for both sides.
Chonburi v Osotspa is the pick of the Sunday matches. The home side will start as favorites and a will be looking for a win to inch back into the title race. The 2010 TPL champs, Muangthong, could move to the summit of the league (depending on the BG result) with a victory over BBCU.
Wuachon have steadily improved and they be striving to make it six games without a loss with the visit of Army United. TOT and Police should be an evenly balanced game while Pattaya and Isan United both need an upturn of fortunes after recent poor results.

Division 1
Raj Pracha v Songkla
Korat v PTT Rayong
Khon Kaen v Siam Navy
Saraburi v Ratchaburi

Suphanburi v Chantaburi
Sriracha v FC Phuket
Pattalung v Air Force Utd
Bangkok Utd v Krabi
Bangkok FC v JW Rangsit

Rock bottom Chantaburi already face being cut adrift at the bottom of the league with only one point collected thus far. With five teams set to be relegated, they are already in a perilous position. This Sunday the Hares face another taxing test in Suphanburi.
Bangkok FC and Air Force would have been relieved to get their first wins on board last time out. The Bulligans probably should make that number two when they host JW Rangsit and Air Force may be quietly confident of the same outcome against a Pattalung team that have hit a wobbly patch of form after initial season promise.
At the other end of the league, Ratchaburi take their unbeaten record to Saraburi while the two form teams of the moment, Bangkok United and Krabi, meet at the Thai Japanese Stadium.
Korat's coach, Tewet, came in for some criticism after last week's defeat at Krabi when he changed a winning side from the previous match. He'll probably have to 'retinker' his side for the visit of PTT Rayong who'll have ex-Swatcat Josef Tirer in their squad.
The demoted duo of Khon Kaen and Siam Navy meet again for the first time since relegation. Both sides have struggled since their drop from the TPL although Khon Kaen will be buoyed by their 4-1 win at Chantaburi last weekend. Sriracha have adapted to life in the lower level slightly better than Khon Kaen and Siam Navy and they host draw experts FC Phuket on Sunday
The Raj Pracha v Songkla fixture completes the picture in Division 1.

Division 2 Bangkok
Customs Utd 1-1 Chamchuri Utd

Rangsit FC v Thai Honda

Kasem Bundit v Assumption Thonburi
Luk Isan v R-BEC
Samut Sakhon v Central Lions
Nonthaburi v Samut Prakarn Utd

Bangkok Christian v Kasetsart
Globex v Krung Thonburi

The division 2 card has been spread over five days with Customs and Chamchuri already sharing a 1-1 draw on Wednesday afternoon.
On Friday evening Rangsit host Thai Honda. A minimum of a point would temporarily move the Speed Kings to the top of the league.
Current leaders R-BEC, have bizarrely yet to win an away game this season. Luk Isan away will be a great opportunity to break that duck. Second placed Samut Sakhon need to get back to winning ways and should do that with the visit of Central Lions. North Bangkok and Rayong United were scheduled to play on Sunday but for some reason the fixture has disappeared from the program.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AFC Matchday 5 - Results

AFC Cup  - Group G
Chonburi 1-0 Yangon United
Citizen AA 1-2 Home United 

Chonburi reserved their place in the AFC Cup last 16 with a comfortable 1-0 victory over Yangon United. The only goal of the game came on the hour mark after Therdsak finished from a Pipob assist. In reality, the scoreline gives a false reflection of the contest as Chonburi could have scored a hatful of goals. In the first half, Ludo twice should have done better with close range headers, and in the second the Sharks hit the right post three times while their Burmese guests offered nothing in an attacking sense throughout the 90 minutes.
In the other group game, Home United scored two late goals to beat Citizen United 2-1 in Hong Kong. That late comeback won't have pleased the Blue Bloods as it means Chonburi now have to go to Singapore on Matchday 6 and remain undefeated if they are to win the group.

Monday, April 23, 2012

AFC Cup Matchday 5 - Preview

AFC Cup  - Group G
Chonburi v Yangon United
Citizen AA v Home United 

Chonburi will seal their place in the knockout phase of the 2012 AFC Cup with victory over Yangon United tomorrow evening. The Sharks were denied a place in the last 16 on Matchday 4 as they succumbed to two stoppage time goals in Mongkok to draw 3-3 with Citizen AA.
The Thai side top Group G with 8 points and are a point clear of Home United in second. Citizen have 4 points while the all but eliminated Yangon Utd prop up the group with 2 points.
In the opening fixture in this group, Chonburi grasped a 93rd minute leveller to cancel out Yangon's first half advantage.
A victory is essential for Chonburi against Yangon United as winning the group will ensure they'll have home advantage for the one off fixture in the last 16. Finishing second would almost certainly result in a tough away fixture to Al Shorta SC. The Syrians are currently the only side in the competition with a 100% record.

Weekend Review 21-22 April

Osotspa Saraburi 1-2 Wuachon Utd
BBCU 0-0 Chonburi
Isan Utd 1-1 Muangthong
Thai Port 1-0 TTM
BEC Tero 1-0 Samut Songkhram
TOT 3-1 Pattaya
Chainat 1-3 Police
Bangkok Glass 4-1 Chiang Rai Utd
Buriram Utd 1-1 Army Utd

Buriram United remain top despite dropping two points at home to Army United. Mattius Recio's second goal for Army cancelled out Teerathorn's first half opener as it finished 1-1 at the Thunder Castle.
Bangkok Glass swept aside Chiang Rai United 4-1 to move second and a Rangsan screamer was the match winner between BEC Tero and Samut Songkhram as the Fire Dragons made it a quartet of wins. 
Chonburi and Muangthong were held to disappointing draws at BBCU and Isan United respectively. If the pair of them are aiming to win the TPL, then these are games that they should be winning.
Wuachon's 2-1 at Osotspa moved them level on 9 points with their hosts. A couple of Aron da Silva first half goals helped the Fighting Bulls on their way. Chainat lost their first game of the season as they surrendered a first half lead to lose 3-1 at home to Police United.
An Olof Watson goal was the difference between Thai Port and TTM as the Klong Toei side moved off the foot of the table. Thai Port's first win was nervously collected as TTM had a couple of decent penalty claims turned away by the referee in the closing moments. TTM now hold the unwanted record of being the only winless team in the TPL as TOT ended their barren spell with a 3-1 victory over Pattaya United.

Division 1
Ratchaburi 1-1 Sriracha
FC Phuket 0-0 Suphanburi
Chantaburi 1-4 Khon Kaen
PTT Rayong 1-1 Raj Pracha
Siam Navy 2-2 Bangkok United
Krabi 1-0 Korat
Songkla 3-1 JW Rangsit
Pattalung 2-3 Bangkok FC
Air Force Utd 1-0 Saraburi

Sriracha earned a creditable draw at Ratchaburi as they held the league leaders to a 1-1 draw. Krabi moved into second as they beat a lackluster Korat 1-0 and Songkla are keeping tabs in third place after`they beat JW Rangsit 3-1.
Siam Navy and Bangkok United shared the spoils as did PTT Rayong and Raj Pracha. Suphanburi's much anticipated title bid is still to ignite as they drew 0-0 in Phuket.
Bangkok FC finally registered their first win of the season as they took the lead three times in Pattalung to eventually hold onto a 3-2 win, and Air Force also won for the first time as they edged out Saraburi 1-0 at the Thupathemi.
At the rock bottom, Chantaburi were humbled 4-1 on their own patch by Khon Kaen. With one point out of a possible 18 collected, it appears the Hares have already fallen asleep under the tree in the race to stay in Division 1.

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

They Div 2 Bangkok leadership baton changed hands again this weekend as R-BEC seized control with a 4-0 victory over Nontaburi. Samut Sakhon slipped to second after a defeat at Krung Thonburi.
Prachinburi (Rayong Utd) and Thai Honda closely follow in third and fourth as only one point separates the top 4.
At the bottom, Nontaburi, Bangkok Christian and Assumption Thonburi have all been cut adrift as none of the hapless trio have won a match this season.
* The club formerly known as Prachinburi FC have officially changed their name to Rayong United. I shall refer to them by their new name from now on.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TOT 3-1 Pattaya United

TOT claimed their first 3 points of the season with a 3-1 victory over Pattaya United.

It was however Pattaya who opened the scoring on 18 minutes when Paul Ekollo ran through the middle of the TOT defence to beat Weera in the TOT goal.

Kim Do Yeon was lively for the away side and he had chances from the right flank to double the lead after a couple of pacy runs.

As the half time break was approaching, Diego Walsh struck a free kick which deflected off the Pattaya wall to level for the hosts.

In the second half, Paul Ekollo had a shot blocked by Weera's legs and Bas Savage had a looping header cleared off the Pattaya line before TOT's Pichit headed home midway through the half to make it 2-1.

Pichit should have scored a couple of minutes after the goal but blazed over from close range and Thanakorn hit the post as the home side tried to wrap the game up.

In the 94th minute the points were secured for TOT when Pakit shot home from inside the box following a late counter attack.

The win moved TOT up five spots to 13th while Pattaya dropped a place to ninth. It was a deserved win for TOT over the 90 minutes, but Pattaya will be disappointed that they didn't press home their advantage in the first half when they held the upper hand.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Songkran

As the Songkran water festivities are about to begin, that's my cue to get out of Dodge City. I'll be out of the country, so there won't be any blog updates for the next 10 days or so. Hopefully I'll be back in time for the next round of TPL fixtures the weekend after Songkran.
Anyway I wish you all a happy Songkran and take care especially if you're on the roads.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekend Review 7-8 April

Chiang Rai Utd 1-1 Thai Port
Bangkok Glass 2-0 Police Utd
Chonburi 5-1 Isan Utd
Wuachon 2-2 BBCU
TTM 0-1 BEC Tero
Pattaya 0-2 Chainat
Muangthong 2-1 TOT
Army 1-3 Osotspa Saraburi
Samut Songkhram 0-3 Buriram Utd

Buriram United, Muangthong, Bangkok Glass and Chonburi all still remain undefeated. The Thunder Castle eased to a 3-0 win at Samut Songkhram with three second half goals whereas Muangthong were made to work for their 2-1 home win over TOT. Teerasil scored a double with his second coming in the 86th minute to seal the contest. A first half brace from BG's Ajayi was enough to see off Police while Thomas Dossevi announced himself to Thai football with a hat-trick to help Chonburi dispose of Isan United.
TTM and Chainat's drawing sequences finally ended with contrasting outcomes. Chainat inflicted Pattaya's first loss of the season as two goals from Puwadol helped the Hornbills on their way. TTM lost to the improving BEC Tero 1-0 with Cleiton Silva scoring his fifth goal of the season. TTM have now played 360 minutes of football without scoring. More worryingly for the club would be that only 1858 people turned up to watch them as it appears the majority of the Chiang Mai public have shunned the relocating tobacco monopoly.
Bungling refereeing reared it's ugly head in the games at Chiang Rai United and Army. At one point in the Chiang Rai Utd v Thai Port match, the home side had 12 players on the pitch. The extra man advantage for the couple of minutes didn't help CRU as they were held to a 1-1 as Thai Port picked up their first point of the season. Osotspa beat Army 3-1 with Dudu blitzing the home side with a hat-trick. Again indecisiveness was at the forefront as it took 4 minutes of bickering between players and officials in the first half before a penalty was eventually taken.
Wuachon's first home game in Songkla ended 2-2 as they shared the points with BBCU.

Division 1
Bangkok FC 1-1 Songkla
JW Rangsit 3-1 PTT Rayong
Raj Pracha 0-4 Krabi
Korat 2-1 Siam Navy
Saraburi 1-0 Pattalung
Khon Kaen 1-1 FC Phuket
Suphanburi 1-2 Ratchaburi
Sriracha 2-1 Air Force
Bangkok Utd 2-1 Chantaburi

Pre-season favorites Suphanburi were undone as they lost 2-1 at home to promotion rivals Ratcahburi while Pattalung and PTT Rayong unexpectedly lost for the first time. Pattalung went down 1-0 at Saraburi and PTT Rayong were humbled 3-1 at JW Rangsit. The bulk of the 338 present in Nakhon Nayok would have been delighted to witness a Mongkol hat-trick for the home side.
Krabi, Korat, Sriracha and Bangkok United moved into contention with their third wins of the season. Krabi stunned Raj Pracha with a four goal blitz while Korat had to patiently wait around the locker room for torrential rain to pass before they eventually beat Siam Navy 2-1. A couple of goals from Douglas Cobo saw Sriracha over the line against Air Force and Bangkok United beat Chantaburi with a similar scoreline as they notched their first home win of the season.
The remaining two games finished in 1-1 draws between Bangkok FC v Songkla and Khon Kaen v Phuket.

Division 2 BKK
Globex 0-6 Samut Prakarn Utd
Luk Isan 3-3 Kasem Bundit
Nontaburi 0-0 North Bangkok
Prachinburi FC 2-0 Central Lions
Chamchuri 0-1 Kasetsart
Thai Honda 0-1 Samut Sakhon
R-BEC 2-0 Customs Utd
Assumption Thonburi 1-2 Rangsit FC
Krung Thonburi 2-2 Bangkok Christian

Division 2 Bangkok has a new leader as R-BEC beat Customs 2-0. Samut Sakhon moved in to second position with a narrow 1-0 victory at promotion chasing Thai Honda.
Chamchuri's early season promise is fading quickly as they suffered their second league defeat. Earlier in the week Kasetsart dumped them out of the Toyota League Cup and they rubbed more salts in the wounds with a 1-0 win at the Chula Stadium. Globex are also on a downward spiral after promising early form. They suffered a humiliating 6-0 loss at home to Samut Prakarn United.
Prachinburi have crept into contention after picking up 10 points out of a possible 12 in their last four matches.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Army United 1-3 Osotspa Saraburi

Dudu's hat-trick inspired Osotspa as they came from behind to earn a 3-1 win that ended Army's unbeaten start to the season.

Army had the better of the early exchanges and Sarayoot opened the scoring on 11 minutes as he bulleted home a header from a pinpoint Narong cross.

Osotspa were back in the game midway through the half when Dudu levelled from the spot. The penalty wasn't initially awarded after appeals for handball in the box. The tantrum thrown by Dudu seemed to sway the match officials as the referee eventually pointed to the penalty spot after consultation with his assistant. It was then the turn of Army players to vent their frustrations and the kick was eventually converted four minutes after the original incident had occurred.

The away side started playing with more confidence and freedom, and Army's keeper, Kosin, made a great double save to keep the score level.

As the interval approached, Army's rearguard were cut apart from a pass from Suradej, and Dudu slotted the ball under the keeper to give Osotspa a 2-1 lead. The half time whistle was greeted with jeers from the home fans towards the match officials as they left the field.

Army needed to up the stakes and as they pushed forward it gave the Saraburi side the chance to counter attack. Osotspa should have wrapped the game up twice late on when Zuke and Sarawut fluffed their lines after being clean through on goal.

But Osotspa weren't to be denied a third and Dudu completed his first hat-trick for the club when he easily shrugged off Suwittaya to hit the roof of the net with a rasping drive.

Most Army fans would have conceded that it was a fair win for the away side. Army started brightly but the stuffing seemed to be knocked out of them after the penalty and they never really recovered. Dudu was by far the best player on the park but his petulant whining and hissy fits make him the pantomime villain. It was noticeable that when he scored his first two goals, none of his team mates joined him as he celebrated alone in front of the away section.

As for the referee and linesmen, they need to be more assertive when making decisions. For the penalty award they were bullied by the players of both sides as uncertainty reigned. The referee having lost face then decided to yellow card every tackle after that to show he was the man in charge.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bangkok FC 1-1 Songkla

Samuel Danquah rescued a point for Bangkok FC against Songkla as the Bulligans doubled their points tally for the season.

Kaneung Buransook gave the visitors the lead on 16 minutes when he tapped in after Malek's low shot off the post had rebounded to him. It had been a sluggish start to the game and Songkla's goal was the first piece of noteworthy action.

In the second half Solomom Okutu and Santisap Sari were whiskers away with headers as the Iron Bulls pressed for an equalizer.

The Bang Mot side's persistence was rewarded on 76 minutes when Danquah netted after a scramble in the box from a Lee Tuck corner.

A point each was a fair reflection on the 90 minutes and the Bulligans will be happy to have moved off the foot of the table.

Bangkok FC have potential to play better than this and I feel that they just need something to kick start their season. Once that happens they should be able to move up the league table. Songkla were well organized and robust defensively but they look like the don't have that creative spark to maintain a genuine promotion push.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Weekend Preview 7-8 April

Chiang Rai Utd v Thai Port
Bangkok Glass v Police Utd
Chonburi v Isan Utd
Wuachon v BBCU

Pattaya v Chainat
Muangthong v TOT
Army v Osotspa Saraburi
Samut Songkhram v Buriram Utd

The TPL table already has a familiar look to it with Buriram United leading the chasing pack and a top 8 that has all the foreseen suspects clambering for position in this 34 game season marathon.
Buriram United travel to Samut Songkhram on Sunday hoping to maintain their 100% winning start. Samut Songkhram were widely tipped to be relegated but they'll be able to take heart from their early season form.
Muangthong entertain near neighbors and ex lodgers TOT. Both sides enter the encounter on the back of two draws. While on the subject of deadlocks, TTM and Chainat are the draw experts with three apiece from three games. The duo have tough fixtures this Sunday and making it four draws out of four wouldn't be too bad an outcome.
Chonburi remain unbeaten in all competitions this year but they are another side that have tied their last two matches in the TPL. I can't see that sequence extending to three as the Sharks should be too strong for Isan United.
Bottom side Thai Port will be seeking their opening point up at Chaing Rai. Last season's four games between the two clubs yielded four draws. If last year's TPL fixture between Bangkok Glass and Police is a yardstick, then expect an abundance of goals. BG won that one 5-3 but Police exacted some revenge a couple of weeks later when their 3-1 win at the Leo Stadium saw the Glass Rabbits crash out of the Toyota League Cup.
The Army v Osotspa fixture for me, you guessed it, has draw written all over it. Cue a 4-0 win for one of them!!
Lastly, the worst kept secret of the past few weeks is finally out of the bag as Wuachon have been granted permission to use the Tinsulanon Stadium in Songkla after weeks of chest puffing, pleading and threats. The first home opponents for the club formerly know as Buriram FC are BBCU.

Division 1
Bangkok FC v Songkla
JW Rangsit v PTT Rayong
Raj Pracha v Krabi
Korat v Siam Navy
Saraburi v Pattalung

Khon Kaen v FC Phuket
Suphanburi v Ratchaburi
Sriracha v Air Force
Bangkok Utd v Chantaburi

The battle of the "Buris" is the prominent contest with fourth placed Suphanburi ready for the visit of table toppers Ratchaburi. Suphaburi have the meanest defence in the league with zero goals conceded. At the other end, slightly worryingly, would be the fact that the Warriors have only scored three goals from four which is two less than Ratchaburi's Douglas Gardozo who has hit the net five times.
Pattalung, despite having one of the smallest budgets in the league, are level on points with Ratchaburi in second spot. Their fixture at Saraburi will be seen as a great chance for 3 points as is third placed PTT Rayong's match in Nakhon Nayok against JW Rangsit.
Bangkok FC finally won their first point last week even though they''ll be fuming that they threw away a 3 goal lead at Saraburi. If they get ahead against Songkla, the Iron Bulls will need to show more steel at the back. The other Bangkok (United) surely will beat conquerable Chantaburi despite the curse of the Din Daeng.
Elsehwhere It's Raj Pracha v Krabi and Korat v Siam Navy on Saturday, while on Sunday, Khon Kaen v Phuket and Sriracha v Air Force complete the Division 1 fixtures.

Division 2 BKK
Globex v Samut Prakarn Utd
Luk Isan v Kasem Bundit
Nontaburi v North Bangkok
Prachinburi FC v Central Lions
Chamchuri v Kasetsart

Thai Honda v Samut Sakhon
R-BEC v Customs Utd
Assumption Thonburi v Rangsit FC
Krung Thonburi v Bangkok Christian

Chamchuri and Kasetsart will lock horns for the second time in five days. Last Tuesday, it was Kasetsart who left they Chulalongkorn Stadium with smiles on their faces after the beat the hosts 4-2 on penalties in the Toyota League Cup qualifier. Kasetsart will be weary after they suffered a few injuries on the artificial pitch and if Chamchuri have star player Sarawut back in their side, it could be a different outcome on Saturday.
On Sunday, third placed Samut Sakhon travel to Thai Honda who sit one place below them in the table. R-BEC in second, will reacquaint themselves with Customs United.  Last season both these sides were relegated from Division 1, but at this moment in time, it's R-BEC who are adapted better to the regional leagues. Customs are currently languishing in 14th position.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ACL & AFC Cup Matchday 3 - Review

AFC Champions League - Group H
Kashiwa Reysol 0-0 Guangzhou Evergrande
Buriram United 0-2 Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

Buriram United's perfect start to Group H ended as Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors picked up their first points with a 2-0 win. It was another brave performance from Buriram but they'll need to look back on their defensive naivety for the 2 goals that they conceded.
Lee Sung Hyun gave the South Korean side the lead on 10 minutes with a back heeled flick after Sivaruck had produced two great blocks. It didn't help matters that a couple of the Buriram defenders were standing motionless with their arms up claiming offside.
On 32 minutes Seo Sang-Min was given too much space to skip past a flailing challenge inside the box to double the away side's lead.
Buriram tried to retrieve the game in the second period and the closest they came was with a Frank Achaempong shot that crept inches past the post.
The good news for Buriram despite the defeat was that they remain top of the group after Kashiwa Reysol and Guangzhou Evergrande drew 0-0 in Japan. The big spending Chinese side made a lively start but they were quickly snuffed out by Kashiwa as the Japanese side claimed a deserved point.

AFC Cup  - Group G
Chonburi 2-0 Citizen AA
Yangon United 0-0 Home United

At the midway point, Chonburi are in pole position in Group G despite the fact that they've barely shifted out of second gear.  Therdsak opened the scoring shortly after the break from the spot and on the hour the veteran turned provider when his corner was headed in by Diakite as the Sharks comfortably beat Citizen AA 2-0. Chonburi top the group with 7 points and crucially moved 4 points clear of Citizen AA in third place.
In Myanmar, it finished 0-0 between Yangon United and Home United. The Singaporean side will surely be the happier of the two as the point lifts them into second place with 4 points.
Next Wednesday, the fixtures will be reversed as Chonburi travel to Hong Kong to play Citizen and Home United host Yangon United.

Monday, April 2, 2012

ACL & AFC Cup Matchday 3 - Preview

AFC Champions League - Group H
Kashiwa Reysol v Guangzhou Evergrande
Buriram United v Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors

The records of Buriram United and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors going into matchday 3, has one team with two wins and six points leading the group, and the other pointless after two back-to-back 5-1 maulings. If you'd asked any Asian football experts prior to Group H commencing which team would have which record, then about 95% of them would have envisioned that the South Korean side would be at the crest of the group and not pre-tournament underdogs, Buriram United.
Nevertheless, the last thing Buriram should do is to gaze at the league table and become complacent. They've earned their top placing through great team spirit and determination. If the Thunder Castle can show the same vigour that they have in their first two outings, then beating last year's AFC Champions League runners up is highly likely.
Jeonbuk have similarly had a woeful start to their domestic offensive as they bid to regain the K-League title. Last time out in the K-League they threw away a two goal lead conceding three goals in the last 15 minutes of the game to lose 3-2 to Daegu FC.
The Motor company have ex Middlesbrough striker Lee Dong Gook who despite having a lean time in England is the K-League's all-time top scorer.
The other two sides in Group H, Kashiwa Reysol and Guangzhou Evergrande, both have 3 points and from Buriram's perspective a share of the points would be an satisfactory outcome.

AFC Cup  - Group G
Chonburi v Citizen AA
Yangon United v Home United

A victory for Chonburi over Hong Kong's Citizen AA would give the Sharks a 4 point cushion on third place regardless of what the result is between Yangon United and Home United.
Chonburi are still unbeaten this year although they'll have been bitterly disappointed to have lost an injury time equalizer to TOT in the TPL last Saturday. 
Citizen AA earned their place in the AFC Cup as a result of winning the Hong Kong Senior Challenge shield in 2010-2011. The 10 team Hong Kong First Division is currently at the tail end of its 2011-2012 season with Citizen AA sitting in 5th place and well out of the title race.
Yangon and Home United both lost a fortnight ago on matchday 2. Yangon only have one point and failure to beat Home United would leave the Burmese side staring at an early exit from the cup.

Weekend Review 30 March - 1 April

Buriram United 4-2 Osotspa Saraburi
Army United 1-1 BBCU
TOT 1-1 Chonburi
Thai Port 0-1 Police United
BEC Tero 3-2 Chiang Rai Utd
Chainat 4-4 Muangthong
Bangkok Glass 1-1 Pattaya
Samut Songkhram 0-0 TTM
Isan United 1-2 Wuachon Utd

This weekend in the TPL produced plenty of late drama with a flurry of red cards thrown into the mix. Buriram United lead the way on 9 points with a 100% record from their first three games after they defeated Osotspa 4-2. Muangthong are second but they should really be top. They held a 4-2 lead over Chainat but were pegged back late on as Chainat snatched a climactic 4-4 draw.
Other injury time goals included TOT"s 93rd minute leveller at home to Chonburi, BEC Tero's 94th winner from Jose Franco to edge out Chiang Rai Utd 3-2, and an even later goal was scored in the 95th minute as Pattaya grabbed a very belated point at Bangkok Glass.
Army are in third but they'll be disappointed with their 1-1 at home to BBCU. Wuachon came from behind to win 2-1 at Isan Utd, Police beat Thai Port 1-0 and Samut Songkhram and TTM played out a 0-0. Incidentally TTM's three games this season have yet to produce a goal. With this humdrum form, they'll be struggling to allure new spectators from the Chiang Mai area.
The red card count ended with 8 dismissals. The early bathers were Jerry Amarah (Police), Ittiphol and Kiatjarern (Thai Port), Fofana (TOT), Panuwat (BEC), Caceres (CRU), Teerathep (BG), and Ogawa (Pattaya)

Division 1
Air Force 0-0 Suphanburi
Ratchaburi 4-0 Khon Kaen
Chantaburi 1-2 Korat
Siam Navy 0-0 Raj Pracha
PTT Rayong 2-0 Songkla
FC Phuket 0-3 Bangkok Utd
Pattalung 2-1 Sriracha
Krabi 1-0 JW Rangsit
Saraburi 3-3 Bangkok FC

Ratchaburi moved to the top with a straightforward 4-0 win over Khon Kaen. Douglas Gardozo has proven that he'll get goals at this level and his double against the T-Rex moved the Brazilian to the top of the goalscoring charts with 5 goals.
Pattalung proved they are in the promotion hunt for the long run as they beat Sriracha 2-1 and PTT Rayong beat last week's league leaders Songkla 2-0.
A notable mention must go to Sompong Soleb of Bangkok United as he notched his first hat-trick for the club in their 3-0 win at Phuket.
With five teams set to be relegated to the regional leagues, alarm bells must be ringing at Air Force, JW Rangsit, Saraburi, Bangkok FC and Chantaburi after winless starts.  Air Force will be happy though to have collected a point at home to Suphanburi as will Saraburi who came from 3-0 down to salvage a draw with Bangkok FC. Chantaburi suffered last minute agony as they lost 2-1 at home to Korat and JW Rangsit were defeated 1-0 at Krabi.

Div 2 BKK
Rangsit FC 6-4 Samut Prakarn Utd
Kasem Bundit 4-2 Nontaburi
Samut Sakhon 2-0 Chamchuri Utd
Globex 0-0 R-BEC
North Bangkok 0-0 Thai Honda
Kasetsart 1-2 Prachinburi FC
Central Lions 0-3 Krung Thonburi

The Friday night game between Rangsit FC and Samut Prakarn United produced an amazing 10 (ten) goals as Rangsit beat SPK Utd 6-4. Rangsit's striker, Julius, pitched in with an impressive 4 goals to help gain Rangsit their first win of the season.
The biggest movers this weekend were Samut Sakhon as they shot up the table from sixth to third after an fine 2-0 success over the league leaders, Chamchuri United. Both goals were scored from corners and other sides in the league may well have noticed that chink in the Chamchuri armour. The other games involving the early pace setters, Globex v R-BEC and North Bangkok v Thai Honda, ended in stalemates.