Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekend Preview 1-2 September

Thai Port v Pattaya
Buriram Utd v TTM
Samut Songkhram v Chiang Rai Utd
BEC Tero v Police Utd

Bangkok Glass v Muangthong Utd
Chainat v Chonburi
Wuachon v TOT
Esan Utd v Army Utd
BB-CU v Osotspa Saraburi

As we enter the finishing straight of the season, Muangthong United have galloped ahead of the rest of the pack holding a ten point advantage with ten games left to play. This weekend they travel over to Bangkok Glass where Muangthong have a pretty dismal record in the TPL. In three previous goes, the Kirins have failed to score and have only registered one point from their trips to Thanyaburi.
If BG can pull it off, Chonburi and Buriram will need to cash in to keep any distant title ambitions smouldering. Buriram might as well throw in the towel if they can't beat TTM at home while Chonburi have a slightly more tricky tie at Chainat. Earlier in the season, the Sharks staged a breath taking comeback to defeat Chainat 4-3 at the Chonburi Stadium.

At the other end, Thai Port just about have their heads above water, but with half of their remaining fixtures against the top 5, three points are a must against Pattaya on Saturday. TP fans have become frustrated with their coach's negative team selections and the constant chopping and changing of defensive personnel. News last night confirmed that Worakorn Wichanarong was sacked by Thai Port. No replacement has been named as we speak.
The visitors Pattaya are another side that's endured a fluctuating season with a lack of goals being their biggest downfall to date. The signings of Ludo and Dyachenko should address that although I'm positive many of the Klong Toei fan base won't be to concerned to see recent acquisition Phudit in the Dolphin's starting line-up.
If Port lose on Saturday, BB-CU could move out of the relegation places with victory over the improving Osotspa. The Saraburi club have won four out of five to establish themselves in the top half.
Police United dropped to second bottom last week and with a rare away game scheduled, the cops might be satisfied with a point at BEC knowing that they have a multitude of home fixtures to follow.

The winner of Samut Songkhram v Chaing Rai Utd would buy themselves some daylight from the drop zone while Wuachon v TOT and Esan Utd v Army games complete the round up this weekend.

Division 1
PTT Rayong v Bangkok FC
Siam Navy v JW Rangsit
Chantaburi v Raj Pracha
FC Phuket v Korat
Saraburi v Sriracha
Air Force v Khon Kaen

Krabi v Songkla
Ratchaburi v Bangkok United
Phatthalung v Suphanburi

It's first against fourth as Ratchaburi's unbeaten home record will be put to the test by the form team of the moment, Bangkok United. In their last eight games, the Angels have won six and drawn two to move within inches of the promotion trio.
The other two Sunday games in the south will have a great baring on who's going to the TPL too. Suphanburi play their third game of the week down south with a trip to Phattalung after twice facing Songkla earlier in the week. Since the halfway point, Krabi's form has been very mid-table, and with a tough run in to follow, it's vital the the Energy beat Songkla.

Sriracha could temporarily move into second place if they win or draw at Saraburi on Saturday. The Blue Marlins have won four on the trot scoring 11 times while Saraburi have lost their last three which has seen them drop into the relegation places. Last weekend, Sriracha beat PTT Rayong and the oil side dropped down to fifth. PTT host Bangkok FC who are mirrored at fifth from the foot.
The game which peculiarly interests me is the wooden spoon clash between Chantaburi, with 14 straight losses and zero wins all season, against Raj Pracha who have picked up one solitary point from the last 27 available. There is no doubting that both sides will be in the regional leagues next season, but surely this is one that they both must be desperate to win.

Division 2 BKK
Rangsit FC v Samut Sakhon

Kasem Bundit v Chamchuri Utd
Customs Utd v Central Lions
Luk Esan v Rayong Utd

R-BEC v Thai Honda
Nonthaburi v Assumption Thonburi
North Bangkok v Bangkok Christian
Globex v Kasetsart
Samut Prakarn Utd v Krung Thonburi

The end of the Bangkok regional league has snuck up upon us as we enter its last month. Thai Honda have a six point lead with four to play and victory at R-BEC would virtually ensure them a place in the play-offs while it would leave the Tero youth side contemplating another season in the regional league. The other three promotion contenders make road trips. Samut Sakhon have a tough trip to Rangsit on Friday evening while Rayong Utd travel to Luk Esan on Saturday and Kasetsart a day later to Globex.

Current table with 4 games to play:
1 Thai Honda 65
2 Rayong Utd 59
3 Kasetsart 59
4 Samut Sakhon 56
5 R-BEC 55

Thursday, August 30, 2012

FA Cup - Last 16 Round Up

Muangthong Utd 2-0 Korat
PTT Rayong 0-0 Army Utd (Army won 3-1 on pens)
Chiang Rai Utd 2-2 Police (CRU won 5-4 on pens)
Songkla 0-1 Suphanburi
Buriram Utd 7-1 Ratchaburi
BEC Tero 3-1 Samut Songkhram
Bangkok Glass 1-0 Chainat
Ayutthaya 2-1 Thai Port

Ayutthaya dumped TPL Thai Port out of the FA Cup as the regional league side marched through to the quarter finals. A brace midway through the second half by Nuttapat saw the Ancient Warriors come from behind to complete a miserable week for the Klong Toei side. The win for Ayutthaya sets up a quarter final tie with Bangkok Glass who beat Chainat 1-0 with a late goal from their Japanese hitman, Saruta.

Buriram and BEC Tero will clash in the last 8 for what seems like their umpteenth match up in the last couple of seasons. The Dragons of Ratchaburi were more like poodles as they meekly rolled over and let the Thunder Castle rub their bellies in the 7-1 victory for Buriram. Goals from the foreign contingent of Koomson, Cleiton Silva and Arzu helped BEC beat Samut Songkhram 3-1.

Summer recruits, Rangel and Hermoza, eased Muangthong into the last eight with two second half goals against a negatively set up Korat side. Many of the Swatcat faithful wouldn't have expected to beat Muangthong, but they would have at least expected to have had a go. MTU will travel to Army in the next round as the Gentlemen Ranger's beat a misfiring PTT Rayong on spot kicks after a goalless 120 minutes.

The final tie in the quarters has Chiang Rai Utd hosting Suphanburi. CRU, despite playing the latter part of the contest with 10 men, twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Police before eventually finishing the Cops off in the penalty shoot out. Suphanburi beat Songkla 1-0 for the second time within the space of a few days to be Division One's only representatives left in the competition.

Last 8 Draw - October 3rd
Army Utd v Muangthong Utd
Ayutthaya v Bangkok Glass
Buriram Utd v BEC Tero
Chiang Rai Utd v Suphanburi

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

FA Cup - Wednesday 29th August

Muangthong Utd v Korat
PTT Rayong v Army Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Police
Songkla v Suphanburi
Buriram Utd v Ratchaburi
BEC Tero v Samut Songkhram
Bangkok Glass v Chainat
Ayutthaya v Thai Port

Ayutthaya carry the hopes of the regional leagues when they host Thai Port in one of Wednesday's FA cup ties. The match will reunite Ayutthaya's current coach, Thongchai Sukkokee, with his previous club Thai Port. His time at the PAT was unconvincing although since arriving at Ayutthaya, he's worked wonders as the Ancient Warriors are currently leaders of the Central/East division. Incidentally, the duelling duo met in the League Cup last season in Thongchai's first match at the helm of Thai Port. The Bangkok side ran out 3-1 victors that day.
TPL leaders, Muangthong United, will probably play their second XI, yet being able to bring in the quality of Rangel and Saruch will still have the Kirins as odds on favorites against Korat. Cup holders, Buriram Utd, face Ratchaburi who have several players from wifey's Buriram FC team of last season. It will be interesting to see how many of them actually make an appearance in this match.
Bangkok Glass and BEC Tero will be looking at the FA Cup as a route to success after they've been dogged by inconsistent league campaigns. BG welcome Chainat for the second time in ten days while Tero's match against Samut Songkhram will be far more difficult than it would have been in the earlier weeks of the season.
Army were thrown an unanticipated lifeline after Trat were booted out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player in their penalty shoot out win. The Gong Tabok have a difficult task at PTT Rayong as do Police who travel up to Chiang Rai United.
The final tie is an all first division affair with Songkla hosting Suphanburi. The pair will be familiar with each other having met in the first division last Saturday. That match ended 1-0 to Suphanburi with an own goal being the deciding factor.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Results 25-26 August

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

Muangthong United fought back twice in the "Super Big Match" to grab a 2-2 draw at the packed Chonburi Stadium. The point leaves the Nonthaburi club ten points clear with ten to play.

Chainat were the big winners at the bottom as they defeated fellow strugglers Thai Port 2-0. Whoo Hyun was ordered off for Port early in the second half and shortly afterwards Narongchai and a Narat own goal gave the Hornbills their second home win of the campaign.
Police United remain in deep trouble after they lost 1-0 at home to Army. A 47th minute goal from Jakkrapong was enough to give Army their second 1-0 away win of the week. Pattaya picked up a useful point at Wuachon while cellar dwellers BBCU and TTM still remain in the thick of the relegation mire after they shared a 1-1 draw at the Rajamangala.
BEC Tero moved back into fourth after they drew 1-1 at TOT. Radoljub Paunovic and Amorn were the first half goalscorers.

On Saturday, Buriram United and Bangkok Glass produced five first half goals with the Thunder Castle taking a 3-2 lead. The second half was played in driving rain with no other goals to report. It was also a washout at Esan Utd as they beat Samut Songkhram 2-1. Mark Burchill's 84th minute winner earned the three points for the home side.
Chiang Rai United's defence failed to show up for the match at Osotspa as they were 3-0 down after 30 minutes. Uilian did pull one back for the northern club after the break, but Kaimbi restored the three goal advantage as it finished 4-1.

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

The promotion clash between PTT and Sriracha went the way of the Blue Marlins. Anuwat provided Sriracha with their late winner as they leapfrogged PTT into third. Pace setters, Ratchaburi, and Bangkok United both enjoyed 1-0 away wins. The Dragons goal came through Douglas late in the first half while BU were yet again thankful for top scorer, Gasmi.
An own goal was the difference as Suphanburi also won 1-0 at Songkla while Krabi kept pace with the top group with a 2-0 home win over Saraburi. JW Rangsit's recent mini revival came to a halt as they lost to two second half Khon Kaen goals. 
The Bulligans are still in relegation danger after they blew a two goal lead at Korat. Prompong delighted the majority of 8,344 crowd as he equalized in injury time.

Division 2 BKK
Thai Honda 2-0 Kasem Bundit
Assumption Thonburi 0-1 Luk Esan
Krung Thonburi 4-1 Nonthaburi
Samut Prakarn Utd 2-1 R-BEC
Chamchuri Utd 0-0 Rangsit FC
Kasetsart 2-1 Customs Utd
Samut Sakhon 1-1 Bangkok Christian
Central Lions 2-4 North Bangkok
Rayong Utd 1-1 Globex FC

Thai Honda earned a routine 2-0 win over Kasem Bundit to maintain their lead at the top. They hold a six point advantage over Rayong Utd and Kasetsart. R-BEC and Samut Sakhon lost ground with disappointing results.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Rajamangala Stadium
A point respectively wasn't the desired outcome for either side as BB-CU and TTM drew 1-1 at a sparsely filled Rajamangala Stadium.

TTM had an early shout for a penalty with a strong hint of hand ball, but it was the hosts who took the lead on 22 minutes. A cross from the left flank was tamely palmed away by Won Yoo Hyun allowing Jacob Aikionbare to head over the Korean into the empty net.

On the half hour Pichet flicked a corner onto the top of the crossbar as BBCU almost doubled their advantage.

Within a couple of minutes, TTM drew level when sloppy defending left an unmarked Eakartit to smash home at the back post.

Game over for Pornchai
During the build up to the goal. BBCU's keeper, Pornchai, and Tassana of TTM collided and shortly after play resumed both left the field with injuries. I reckon there must have been 7 or 8 minutes of stoppage time in the first half yet the fourth official only awarded 3 minutes. The ref then blew the half time whistle after exactly 3 minutes while the game was stopped for a player receiving treatment. Even more surprisingly, the whistler had the second half resumed within exactly 15 minutes. With the exception of internationals and AFC games, it's very rare that we have 15 minutes intervals here in Thailand.
More injuries

The Big Bang almost retook the lead on 63 minutes when Jacob set up Syllla only for the TTM keeper to tip his shot around the post.

BBCU obviously weren't going to settle for a point and they brought on two attackers as the second half progressed. Pichit thought he had scored on 82 minutes but his effort was ruled out for offside by the linesman.

Despite the home side's efforts, it was TTM who almost snatched it deep into injury time when Pattana's shot raced across the goal.

Both sides appear destined for the first division unless something spectacular happens. Without Juninho, BBCU rely to much on crosses and set pieces, and their central defence is suspect. In all fairness to TTM, they try to pass the ball on the deck, yet they lack quality in several departments. Eakartit was lively in attack and Jung Hoo Jin and Sakda were solid defensively, but they have too many average players to suggest that they'll beat the drop.

Attendance: 295

Friday, August 24, 2012

Weekend Preview 25-26 August

Buriram Utd v Bangkok Glass
Esan Utd v Samut Songkhram
Osotspa Saraburi v Chiang Rai Utd

Police Utd v Army Utd
Wuachon Utd v Pattaya Utd
Chonburi v Muangthong Utd
Chainat v Thai Port
TOT v BEC Tero

Chonburi and Muangthong cross swords again this Sunday. The Sharks face a difficult challenge in containing the current table toppers, but will take heart from Buriram's performance last weekend at the SCG that showed Jokanovic's team are far from invincible. Nevertheless, the feeling is that anything other than three points for Chonburi would almost certainly end the title race with the trophy destined to land in Nonthaburi.

At the foot of the table, there are two crucial games involving the two at the bottom of the pit and the pair of sides currently occupying the two spots just above the drop zone. TTM have been drinking at the Last Chance Saloon for awhile now and defeat at second bottom BBCU would prompt the call for last orders on TTM's top flight status.
Chainat's recent slump must have alarm bells ringing. In their last eight games, the Hornbills have only taken a paltry three points and worryingly have shipped 28 goals during this decline. Their opponents, Thai Port, have been threatening to break into some decent form, but have been falling short of fulfilling that promise at the final hurdle.
Games between Police Utd and Army Utd are usually tight and I'd expect this one to go the same way. The appearance of ex Army crowd favorite, Leandro dos Santos, could spicen things up as the Crimson Cops aim to build on their first home win last week.
The other side in the thick of the relegation battle, Pattaya Utd, make the long trip down to Songkla to face Wuachon. The Dolphins have only collected five points from nine away matches and this needs to be improved if they want to avoid demotion to the first division.

Elsewhere, Buriram host Bangkok Glass while the Osotspa v Chiang Rai Utd match has mid-table written all over it.
BEC Tero begin life without head coach, Andrew Ord, after the Englishman lost his position earlier in the week. The Fire Dragons make the short trip up Vipavadee Road to TOT.
The last match has Esan Utd against in form Samut Songkhram who will reportedly receive another bonus payment if they win in Esan.

Division 1
JW Rangsit v Khon Kaen
Songkla v Suphanburi
Krabi v Saraburi
Siam Navy v Phatthalung
Chantaburi v Air Force Utd

FC Phuket v Ratchaburi
Raj Pracha v Bangkok Utd
Korat v Bangkok FC
PTT Rayong v Sriracha

Ratchaburi have a healthy nine point advantage over the four teams log jammed between second and fifth on 46 points. The Dragons travel to the Phuket Islanders who have edged away from the drop zone after winning their last three games 1-0.
The big clash of the weekend sees PTT Rayong host fellow eastern seaboard side, Sriracha. In the reverse fixture, PTT won 2-0 and the Petroleum Authority will be hoping for something similar this time. Suphanburi were stunned last week when they were beaten by lowly JW Rangsit. The Suphanburi Warriors make the long trip to Songkla as they bid to keep in touch at the top. Bangkok United will be expecting to win at struggling Raj Pracha. The club based at Salaya have only picked up two points from the last 27 available, and as a consequence they've been cut adrift at the bottom with Chantaburi.
Unexpectedly, big payers, Bangkok FC, are plummeting towards Division 2 after a recent run of poor results. Their only victory in their last eight was a 2-1 success over Chantaburi. Next up for the Bulligans is Korat away shortly followed by PTT (A) and Ratchaburi (H).

Division 2 BKK
Thai Honda v Kasem Bundit
Assumption Thonburi v Luk Esan
Krung Thonburi v Nonthaburi
Samut Prakarn Utd v R-BEC
Chamchuri Utd v Rangsit FC

Kasetsart v Customs Utd
Samut Sakhon v Bangkok Christian
Central Lions v North Bangkok
Rayong Utd v Globex FC

With the exception of Thai Honda, the top sides have been dropping points lately. The Speed Kings have a four point cushion at the top and with the visit of Kasem Bundit, they should maintain that advantage. R-BEC have a testing fixture at Samut Prakarn Utd on Saturday while the stuttering trio of Kasetsart, Samut Sakhon and Rayong Utd have home fixtures on Sunday.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Toyota League Cup Draw - Last 8

Buriram Utd v BEC Tero
Bangkok Glass v Chonburi
Ratchaburi v Wuachon Utd
Muangthong Utd v TOT

Leg 1 - 5th September
Leg 2 - 12th September

TLC Last 16 - Review

Thai Port 0-2 Muangthong Utd
Bangkok Glass 3-1 Chiang Rai Utd
Suphanburi 1-3 BEC Tero
Ratchaburi 1-0 Pattaya Utd (AET)
Pattani 0-1 Wuachon Utd
Samut Prakarn Utd 0-1 Buriram Utd
Customs Utd 0-2 Chonburi (AET)

The three remaining regional league clubs all bowed out of the Toyota League Cup despite putting in brave efforts. Super sub, Thedsak, helped Chonburi negotiate a potential banana skin as his two goals in extra time saw the Sharks progress to the last eight at the expense of Customs. Honda's first half injury time header was enough to see Buriram United past Samut Prakarn United while Wanit won it for Wuachon as they beat Pattani 1-0 at a packed Rainbow Stadium.

It took first division Ratchaburi 120 minutes to dispose of Pattaya despite a couple of late scares while Suphanburi weren't so fortunate as they were undone by a proper Cleiton Silva hat-trick with one from the left, the right and the head.

Two late goals from Rangel helped Muangthong beat Thai Port 2-0 and three second half goals from TOT saw them extinguish TTM's cup bid. Bangkok Glass made it into the last eight with two latish strikes helping them to overcome Chainat 3-1.

The draw for the last 8 will take place this afternoon. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thai Port 0-2 Muangthong United

A late double from Paulo Rangel helped a second string Muangthong United book their place in the last 8 of the Toyota League Cup at the expense of Thai Port.

The niggly first half frustrated the Wednesday teatime crowd as the referee peppered the match with the awarding of several free kicks. The towering Rangel was making his presence felt up front for the visitors, and he should have done better from Ekkapoom's cross on 16 minutes, but he couldn't connect properly as his shot trundled wide. Minutes later the same man's unchallenged header was easily saved by Wanlop.

In first half injury time, Olan had the home side's best sighting on goal when he blazed a shot over from Steven Robb's cross.

The second half continued to be fiery and on 55 minutes there were no takers for Port as Sarawut fired a low drive across the Muangthong six yard box.  

Midway through the half, Wanlop saved a powerful header from Hermoza after he'd combined well with Jakkraphan.

A couple of minutes later, the whistle happy ref failed to spot a handball from Narat in the Thai Port box much to the fury of the MTU bench.

The home side then went close from an inswinging Thongchai free kick from the right, and Alex Ruella had an effort blocked close to the goal.

On 83 minutes, the deadlock was finally broken when a quick break from midfield by Jakkraphan found Rangel in the box and the big Brazilian's crisp low shot found the bottom corner of the net.

Late sub, Teerawut, twice came close to levelling for Port as full time approached. His dipping effort was tipped over the bar by Umarin, and seconds later, poor defending allowed him to lob the keeper, but his attempt bounced wide.

The home side continued to press but they were undone three minutes into added time as Barakat's precise pass found Rangel allowing him to coolly round a defender and the goalkeeper before slotting home to end the contest.

Thai Port have more pressing survival matters and falling out of the cup could benefit them in the long run. Although, I wouldn't have suggested that to any of the Klong Toei Army as they were leaving the stadium tonight. It's scary for me that Muangthong can rest so many first team regulars yet still progress to the quarter finals without really breaking sweat. Now that they're in the last eight, I wonder if they continue to play fringe players if they were to draw Buriram Utd or Chonburi?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TLC Last 16 - Preview

Thai Port v Muangthong Utd
Bangkok Glass v Chiang Rai Utd
Suphanburi v BEC Tero
Ratchaburi v Pattaya Utd
Pattani v Wuachon Utd
Samut Prakarn Utd v Buriram Utd
Customs Utd v Chonburi

All ties above are set to be played on Wednesday. The romantics amongst us will turn their attention towards the three regional league sides as they bid to cause a major upset. Last season, Phatthalung of the second division made it all the way to the semi finals of this competition before eventually falling to Thai Port. The trio of regional league sides will be aiming to emulate the Swiftlets feat of 2011.
The two clubs from the Bangkok region have drawn the plum ties with Buriram visiting Samut Prakarn United and Chonburi checking in at Customs. Last week the contest between the latter pair was switched to Ayutthaya 100 km away. Thankfully sensibility has prevailed after murmurings of disapproval were echoed by the traveling fans, so the tie will be played at Lat Krabang 54 as originally scheduled.  
Wuachon head down the coast to neighboring province, Pattani. The Queen Cannons are unbeaten at home in the league which indicates that the Fighting Bull is in for a tough ride at the Rainbow Stadium - I'm honestly not making these names up :)
The two remaining Division 1 sides, Ratchaburi and Suphanburi will be able to test their top flight credentials with TPL opposition visiting them. The Dragons host Pattaya while Suphanburi welcome BEC Tero. On current form, I'd expect to see at least one of the first division sides advance.
The pick of the three all TPL matches has to be Thai Port v Muangthong. The Port Lions have an abysmal recent record against the current TPL leaders, and to make the task even more difficult, they'll be without the services of a trio of MTU loanees.
That leaves us with Bangkok Glass v Chiang Rai Utd and TOT v TTM.
Predicting Bangkok Glass results is nigh on impossible yet I'm sure the Leo faithful would anticipate their favorites progressing over Chiang Rai Utd. TOT will start as favorites for their tie with TTM.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Review 18-19 August

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

A late afternoon rain storm turned the SCG Stadium into a swimming pool and there was no alternative other than to postpone the match 24 hours to Sunday evening. When the action did eventually take place, Frank Achaempong gave Buriram an early lead but his strike was cancelled out shortly after the break from a Gjurovski penalty. MTU were reduced to ten players when Piyapong received a second yellow conceding a penalty. Kawin saved the spot kick from Suchao but the hosts were fortunate when Buriram had a goal ruled out for offside in injury time as it ended 1-1.
Thiago Cunha set up one and scored another as Chonburi earned a deserved 2-0 win at Pattaya while it was a day of firsts for Chiang Rai United and Police. Tatree's goal shortly before the interval was enough to halt Army's six game winless streak and it also ended CRU's unbeaten home record. Early and a late strikes ensured Police finally celebrated a home win as they beat Wuachon 2-0.

The enigma of Bangkok Glass continues as they beat Chainat 5-3 in a thrilling match at the Leo Stadium. Ajayi and Saruta weighed in with two apiece as Chainat conceded their 12th goal in two games. Glass moved above BEC Tero into fourth after the Fire Dragons lost a late goal to lose 1-0 at home to Esan Utd. Samut Songkhram's recent revival continued with a 91st minute goal helping them overcome BBCU 1-0. Port and TOT cancelled each other out while TTM moved a step nearer Division 1 losing 2-1 at home to Osotspa.

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

The Chantaburi Hares came within two minutes of spectacularly ending their 12 match losing sequence. It took an 89th minute winner to spare Ratchaburi's blushes as they opened up a nine point lead at the top.
A late free kick from JW Rangsit produced the shock of the weekend as they came from behind to beat high flying Suphanburi 2-1. The loss for the Warriors means there are now four teams tied in second with 46 points. PTT Rayong are hitting form at the right time with their 3-1 win at Saraburi moving them above Suphanburi while the double act of Gasmi and Sompong again provided the ammo for Bangkok United as they saw off Korat 2-0. Sriracha brushed aside Songkla 4-0 while Krabi lost the southern derby at Phatthalung to fall three points off the pace.

The monsoon theme continued to play havoc to Division 1 Bangkok Saturday fixtures. Siam Navy had two players sent off in their soaking 1-1 draw at Air Force. Renato scored one and was then ordered off for two yellows while Tinnapob saw red for headbutting Gorrick. For the second year running, the Bangkok FC v FC Phuket fixture was abandoned due to heavy rain.This time it was a more pleasant outcome for the Islanders as they won 1-0 once the game was resumed on Sunday morning.

Division 2 BKK Results & Fixtures
Bangkok Christian 1-0 Central Lions
Globex 0-1 Chamchuri Utd
Samut Prakarn Utd 2-0 Luk Esan
Kasem Bundit 1-1 Rayong Utd
Customs 0-0 Samut Sakhon
R-BEC 0-0 Assumption Thonburi
North Bangkok 3-1 Krung Thonburi
Nonthaburi 1-2 Thai Honda
Rangsit FC v Kasetsart (Monday)

Thai Honda were the only winners out of the promotion bunch as they beat Nonthaburi 2-1. Kasetsart will make up ground if they can beat Rangsit FC tonight.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thai Port 0-0 TOT

The game at the PAT Stadium ended in a rain soaked stalemate as Thai Port and TOT drew 0-0.

The home side shaded the first 45 minutes with their closest effort coming from Ri Myong Jun early on as he forced Weera to strongly palm away.

The away side were quiet throughout unlike their followers in the brass band. On the hour, Lee Jun Ki came within inches of opening the scoring for the visitors, but his goal bound header was cleared off the line.

The game kicked of 30 minutes later than scheduled due to the late arrival of the TOT bus, and that decision made a significant difference to the last quarter of the game as the heavens opened.

Ri Myong Jun rattled the crossbar with ten minutes left on the clock, but from then on the contest was virtually over owing to the playing surface becoming saturated with water. All that was missing was Stuart Hall's raucous commentary as the pitch became more akin to an "It's a Knockout" event rather than a professional football match.

On reflection, I'm sure TOT will have been happier with the point than their hosts would have. Throughout the 90 minutes they never really forced Wanlop into a save. Thai Port had more attempts and they must have been disappointed only to collect a point. With fixtures against the top five still looming, the Klong Toei side need to start converting these home 0-0 draws against mid-table opposition into wins.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thai FA Cup Draw - Last 16

Muangthong v Korat
PTT Rayong v Army Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Police
Songkla v Suphanburi
Buriram Utd v Ratchaburi
BEC Tero v Samut Songkhram
Bangkok Glass v Chainat
Ayutthaya v Thai Port

Ties to be played on Wednesday 29th August.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Weekend Preview 18-19 August & Midweek Results

Muangthong United v Buriram Utd
Pattaya Utd v Chonburi
Police Utd v Wuachon Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Army Utd

TTM v Osotspa Saraburi
Samut Songkhram v BBCU
BEC Tero v Esan Utd
Thai Port v TOT
Bangkok Glass v Chainat

There is no doubting which game takes the star billing this weekend as undefeated Muangthong host current TPL champions, Buriram United. Even the most ardent of Buriram supporters must concede that they won't retain their title this year. Nevertheless, losing this one is not an option for players and fans alike at the Thunder Castle, and beating Muangthong at the SCG would be the highlight of their season to date.
Chonburi hold the honor of being the only TPL side in action on Saturday without the word "United" attached to their name. The Sharks visit nearby rivals Pattaya who've submitted impressive performances in their last two outings.
Surprisingly, Police sit second from bottom and in seven previous attempts they've yet to register a home win this term. Whilst on the subject of home records, Chiang Rai are the only other side apart from Muangthong yet to taste defeat at home. They should extend their unbeaten run to 11 as they welcome an off form Army.

On Sunday, the hair salons along the Rangsit - Nakhon Nayok Road will be pleased that Bangkok Glass have a home fixture. The Glass Rabbits performance at TOT last week was insipid and failure to beat a Chainat side that hasn't won for seven matches makes you wonder how long it will be until the current coach's number is up.
Samut Songkhram v BBCU is a must win for both sides while Thai Port also can't afford anything other than three points on Sunday. TOT have done better than expected this season, yet nevertheless it's still one the Klong Toei faithful would have pencilled in three points from.
Last time Esan Utd beat BEC Tero 4-0 and the Fire Dragons will be out to restore some pride as they return to the Thephasadin. Time is quickly running out for TTM as they are seven points from safety with twelve games to go. Another crowd of three figures is expected for the visit of Osotspa.

Division 1
Bangkok FC v FC Phuket
Ratchaburi v Chantaburi
Suphanburi v JW Rangsit
Bangkok Utd v Korat
Saraburi v PTT Rayong
Air Force Utd v Siam Navy

Sriracha v Songkla
Khon Kaen v Raj Pracha
Phatthalung v Krabi

On paper, the top 2 of Ratchaburi and Suphanburi have straight forward home games with Ratchaburi aiming to make it an unlucky 13 straight defeats for Chantaburi.

The four teams in the last promotion place face varying degrees of opposition. Bangkok United play their third successive Saturday home match as they welcome Korat. PTT Rayong travel to Saraburi while Sriracha will be expecting three points from their hosting of Songkla. The southern derby, between Phatthalung and Krabi is usually eventful and let's hope both sets of fans behave themselves.

At the bottom, a tough run of fixtures has seen Khon Kaen drop into the relegation zone. The T-Rex weren't expected to jump back to the TPL at the first attempt, yet in saying that, not many anticipated them fighting for survival at the foot of the league. Three points against a desperate Raj Pracha would most likely see Khon Kaen back into safety.

Division 2 BKK Results & Fixtures
Thai Honda 3-2 Rangsit FC
Assumption Thonburi A-A Kasem Bundit
R-BEC A-A Luk Esan
Central Lions 2-3 Samut Sakhon
Samut Prakarn Utd 1-0 Nonthaburi
Kasetsart 1-1 Bangkok Christian
Krung Thonburi A-A Globex
Rayong United 2-2 North Bangkok
Chamchuri Utd 2-1 Customs Utd

The three matches at Assumption, Krung Thonburi and R-BEC were abandoned as a heavy rain storm swept across the capital on Wednesday afternoon.

Bangkok Christian v Central Lions

Globex v Chamchuri Utd
Luk Esan v Samut Prakarn Utd
Kasem Bundit v Rayong Utd
Customs v Samut Sakhon
R-BEC v Assumption Thonburi
North Bangkok v Krung Thonburi
Nonthaburi v Thai Honda

Rangsit FC v Kasetsart

Midweek Results
(FA Cup)
TTM 1-1 Korat (Korat won 3-2 on pens)
Samut Songkhram 1-0 Raj Pracha
PTT Rayong 1-1 Esan United (PTT won 4-3 on pens)
Khon Kaen 0-1 Chiang Rai Utd
Songkla 2-1 Bangkok Utd

International Friendly
Thailand 5-1 TPL All Stars

Thailand earned a morale boasting win over the TPL All Stars with goals from Teerasil, Sumanya, Chatree, Mongkol and Adul.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend Review 11-12 August & Midweek Fixtures

Buriram Utd 7-2 Chainat
TOT 3-2 Bangkok Glass
Esan Utd 2-1 Thai Port
BBCU 2-2 BEC Tero
Osotspa Saraburi 0-1 Samut Songkhram
TTM 2-2 Army Utd
Wuachon 2-2 Chiang Rai Utd
Chonburi 1-0 Police
Muangthong 3-2 Pattaya

It's was a high scoring Saturday with no fewer than 21 goals being scored in four matches. Buriram United enjoyed their biggest win of the season as they thumped Chainat 7-2. Ekkachai weighed in with a hat-trick as Chainat had Kraikiat dismissed shortly before the interval. It should be noted that the Hornbills were already 3-0 down by this stage.
BEC Tero managed to erase some of the misery of Wednesday's capitulation to Osotspa as the Fire Dragons earned a 2-2 draw with BBCU. Juninho's 78th minute penalty grabbed a point for the Pink Panthers and it maintained his goal per game ratio with five from five now.
The Esan Utd v Thai Port match was a lively encounter which left Port fans tearing their hair out at the end. Both sides missed penalties before Watson made it third time lucky when his spot kick gave the Bangkok side the lead on the hour. Within a couple of minutes, Esan Utd were reduced to 10 men yet they fought back against the odds with two quick goals around the 80 minute mark to complete the double over Port.
As reported earlier, Bangkok Glass shot themselves in the foot again as careless defending cost them dearly at TOT. The Hello Boys won 3-2 and moved onto 28 points.

The action on Mother's Day saw Muangthong maintain their 12 point lead with a tight 3-2 victory over Pattaya. Chonburi and Samut Songkhram both ground out 1-0 wins. The Sharks stay in second place while Samut Songkhram, by their standards, are up to the giddy heights of 14th place. Their goal was scored by Bireme Diouf who appears to have found a new lease of life since returning from Chonburi.
The final two games both ended 2-2. Chiang Rai fought back twice at Wuachon to earn a point as did Army who repeated a similar feat up in Chiang Mai. The game at TTM was lucky to be played out as the pitch resembled something that Tom Daley would dive into.

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

Ratchaburi scored three late goals courtesy of their foreign contingent to earn an encouraging win over Siam Navy while Suphanburi etched themselves into second spot with a comfortable walk in the park at Raj Pracha. Yuki Bamba scored twice as the Warriors won 4-0.
For the second successive Saturday, Bangkok United came from a goal behind to win 2-1. Bolarinwa gave the Bulligans an early lead and it should have been two shortly before the interval. Lee Tuck appeared onside but a poor call from the linesman meant his goal was chopped off. As with last week, Sompong was the match winner with two goals in the second half.
Krabi, Sriracha and PTT Rayong all enjoyed Sunday wins to complete a clean sweep for the top 6.
At the bottom, Songkla came from behind to claim a vital three points as they beat Saraburi 2-1. It was a miserable trip for Saraburi who had Dai Min Yoo ordered off after two yellows, the second of which was for diving. JW Rangsit, Raj Pracha and Chantaburi all lost again.

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

Rayong United's Friday night defeat opened the door to the promotion set, and they all took advantage with wins. There are now only two points separating the top 4 with Samut Sakhon three points further adrift. The action comes thick and fast at the moment with a full round of fixtures on Wednesday evening.

Midweek Fixtures - Wednesday
(FA Cup)
TTM v Korat
Samut Songkhram v Raj Pracha
PTT Rayong v Esan United
Khon Kaen v Chiang Rai Utd
Songkla v Bangkok Utd

Division 2 Bangkok
Thai Honda v Rangsit FC
Assumption Thonburi v Kasem Bundit
R-BEC v Luk Esan
Central Lions v Samut Sakhon
Samut Prakarn utd v Nonthaburi
Kasetsart v Bangkok Christian
Krung Thonburi v Globex
Rayong United v North Bangkok
Chamchuri Utd v Customs Utd

International Friendly
Thailand v Foreign All Stars

This warm-up match for Thailand's AFF Suzuki Cup quest will be played at the Supachalasai Stadium. Predictably, the Thai squad is mainly made up from Muangthong, Chonburi and Buriram United players. The All Star squad is far from the strongest available, but nonetheless I'm sure the foreigners on show will be anxious to demonstrate that they have superior football skills to their hosts. 

Muangthong United 3-2 Pattaya United

Muangthong United came from behind twice to grab a hard fought 3-2 win over Pattaya United.

Pattaya took the lead on 5 minutes when Juhas smartly headed home a free kick from the right.

The Twin Kirins had a strong penalty shout on 10 minutes when Seeket appeared to clear the ball off the line with his hand following a Rangel header.

The big Brazalian was aggrieved with the officials' failure to award a penalty, yet he was celebrating five minutes later as he headed home a looping cross from Piyaphon.

The home side had chances through Ekkapoom, Datsakorn and Gjurovski but went into the interval tied at 1-1.

Anuwat Inyin's deflected shot restored the Dolphins lead shortly after the break and Ludo came close making it 3-1 moments later as he forced Kawin into a near post save.

On 57 minutes, the TPL leaders drew level when Rangel nodded a cross from Piyaphon back across goal for Gjurovski to equalize.

As all predators do, they pounce when the victim is wounded, and two minutes later Pichitpong smashed home after a corner from the right was pulled back to him.

Pattaya pressed for an equalizer but Muangthong held strong despite the large exodus of home fans minutes before the final whistle. They weren't leaving because they were nervous. It was to join the snaking queue outside to purchase tickets for the big clash with Buriram United next Saturday.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

TOT 3-2 Bangkok Glass

TOT came flying out the blocks Usian Bolt style as two early goals sent them on their way to beat Bangkok Glass 3-2.

Late arrivals to the TOT Stadium would have missed the opening two goals as TOT raced into a 2-0 lead within three minutes.

Rodoljub Paunovic broke the deadlock in the first 120 seconds when he was gifted a goal as the Glass defense stood motionless after the ball had spun upwards allowing the Serbian to convert a soft goal.

Within a minute, the lead was doubled as Lee Jun Ki's header from a corner bounced off the underside of the bar over the line to double the Hello Boys advantage.

TOT seemed puzzled what to do with their early 2-0 lead and Ajayi pegged one back for the Rabbits on 25 minutes when he neatly lobbed Weera in the TOT goal.

Any thoughts of BG staging a quick comeback were dashed eight minutes later when Ekkachai's pass released Jiranat to squeeze home from a tight angle.

The match was then held up for several minutes because Weera disappeared down the tunnel to eventually be replaced by second choice TOT keeper, Manthewa. Despite ten minutes of injury time being awarded, TOT went into the interval holding a 3-1 advantage.

In the second 45, the Pathumthani side huffed and puffed without really threatening to come back into the contest until the 90th minute when Saruta twisted in the box to pull one back.

Bangkok Glass had a very strong claim for a penalty in injury time which was waved away by the referee much to the disgust of the BG fans. The match finished 3-2 and there was an ugly exchange of bottles between rival fans at the end.

In my opinion, the Bangkok Glass fans need to look at the frailties of their own side rather than take their frustrations out on the referee and rival fans. They need a good clear out of a dozen or so overpaid players and they have to rebuild if they ever want to challenge for the TPL title. TOT are a hard working side on a limited budget and another couple of wins should see them achieve their realistic target of staying up.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weekend Preview 11-12 August

Buriram Utd v Chainat
TOT v Bangkok Glass
Esan Utd v Thai Port

Osotspa Saraburi v Samut Songkhram
TTM v Army Utd
Wuachon v Chiang Rai Utd
Chonburi v Police
Muangthong v Pattaya

It's a holiday weekend in Thailand with Mother's Day being celebrated throughout the kingdom. BEC Tero make a swift return to the Rajamangala after they had a night to forget against Osotspa on Wednesday. The meeting with BBCU gives the Fire Dragons a quick opportunity to erase memories of that 4-0 thumping.
Last time Buriram met Chainat they eased to a 3-0 win. Since that match at the beginning of June, the Thunder Castle have only won three from eleven as they've slipped out of the title race. Chainat tend to play better on the road so Buriram should expect another tough evening.
Since Bangkok Glass came into existence in 2009, they have never beaten TOT in 7 previous TPL attempts. The Rabbits have blown hot and cold in recent weeks and one wonders which BG will turn up at the TOT Stadium.
The final game of Saturday reunites Ulrich Munze with Thai Port. The budding relationship between the pair evaporated after Munze's last trip to the PAT Stadium in June which Esan Utd won 1-0. The Esan stopper will surely be pumped up as he bids to keep another clean sheet against his former employers

I'm sure Muangthong won't be showing any motherly love on Sunday as they'll aim to get the three points from Pattaya to continue their league dominance. Pattaya did beat Buriram in Nong Prue during the week, so they'll come into this match feeling slightly more confident than they did a few days ago.
Chonburi's home form has been shaky lately and beating Police certainly isn't a formality. The Thammasart based club have been boosted by seven new signings through sponsorship money although it's been reported that the concrete company will withdraw their investment in the club at the end of the season unless results improve.

One of the remaining three matches has the longest trip covered by any two clubs as Chiang Rai United make the 1,750 km journey down to Wuachon. Army will be hoping that they don't get rained off this time in TTM and Osotspa, with impressive new boy Tangeni, take on Samut Songkhram to complete the picture this weekend.

Division 1
Bangkok Utd v Bangkok FC
Korat v Khon Kaen
Raj Pracha v Suphanburi
Songkla v Saraburi

JW Rangsit v Sriracha
PTT Rayong v Phatthalung
Krabi v Air Force Utd
Siam Navy v Ratchaburi
Chantaburi v FC Phuket

None of the top 6 meet each other this weekend. Ratchaburi probably have the most difficult task out of the group as they travel to Siam Navy.
Krabi have a one game fan ban (I think) after crowd trouble reared its ugly head against Phuket last Sunday. Arguably Air Force will start this game as favorites as their lethal strikeforce of Ononiwu and Hermann, has helped propel the Airmen to five straight wins. Krabi, meanwhile, appear to have a few internal issues that have contributed to recent stuttering form.
It's the battle of the teams with "Bangkok" in their title as United welcome FC while Sriracha, Suphanburi and PTT Rayong all face relegation threatened sides.
The visit of FC Phuket gives Chantaburi a realistic chance of halting their 11 match losing streak. Recent acquisitions have certainly improved performances with the Hares only losing 2-1 at Bangkok FC on Wednesday.

Division 2 BKK
Rangsit FC v Rayong Utd

Kasem Bundit v Samut Prakarn Utd
Globex v Luk Esan
Customs Utd v Thai Honda
Bangkok Christian v Chamchuri Utd

North Bangkok v Assumption Thonburi
Central Lions v Kasetsart
Samut Sakhon v Krung Thonburi
Nonthaburi v R-BEC

Leaders Rayong United could move six points clear at the top if they beat Rangsit FC on Friday evening.
On Saturday, Lat Krabang's finest meet when Customs welcome Thai Honda while Bangkok Christian against Chamchuri sees the close neighbors clash, although neither club has much to play for other than pride.
Kasetsart and R-BEC travel to the two sides planted to the bottom of the league. Kasetsart should have too much for Central Lions while R-BEC could have things slightly tougher at Nonthaburi. Another loss for Samut Sakhon would see them drop well out of the promotion picture. This weekend they play host to mid-table Krung Thonburi.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wednesday 8/8 Brief Review

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

Muangthong now hold a 12 point advantage over their rivals and the last time that I can recall such an advantage being spunked, was back in 1996 when Kevin Keegan's Toon Army self-imploded allowing Fergie's Manchester United youngsters to win the EPL. On comparison, you cant compare MTU to the gung-ho, defensively naive Newcastle team of 96, or likewise none of the title chasers vaguely possess the attacking craft of Manchester United.

Last night, Muangthong beat Police United 2-1 courtesy of two early goals while Chonburi extended their hold on second place despite only drawing 0-0 at Chaing Rai United. Buriram lost to a late goal at Pattaya while BEC were walloped with a 4-0 drubbing at the Rajamangala to Osotspa.

At the other end TTM remain in last place despite trebling their home goal tally for the season in their 2-2 with Wuachon. Police dropped next to bottom while BBCU accompany them into the bottom three after they lost 3-2 at Thai Port. The Big Bang replaced Samut Songkhram who beat Army United 1-0 in front of a virtually empty stadium in Mae Klong.

Elsewhere, TOT threw away a 2-0 lead at Chainat as they were pinned back to a 2-2 draw, and Bangkok Glass upset their frustrated punters once again as they draw a blank at home to Esan United.

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

Ratchaburi and Suphanburi both enjoyed 4-0 home wins to establish themselves firmly as the top 2. Below them are four teams tied on 40 points as PTT Rayong, Krabi, Sriracha and Bangkok United endured various results.

At the bottom it's even tighter as one point seperates six teams between 10th and 15th. Again there were differing outcomes last night for Bangkok FC, Saraburi, Phatthalung, Songkla, Phuket and Khon Kaen. The trio of JW Rangsit, Raj Pracha and Chantaburi, appear to be be cut adrift heading to Division 2 football next season.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thai Port 3-2 BBCU

An Olof Watson second half double from the penalty spot helped Thai Port come from behind to beat BBCU 3-2.

There were a glut of goals shortly before half time as BBCU took the lead twice within the space of three minutes.

Moussa Sylla burst through the home side's rearguard on 42 minutes to set up Salahudin to score. The BBCU midfielder's boot seemed to connect simultaneously with a Thai Port defender's as the ball spun into the base of the net.

Within two minutes, the hosts levelled when Alex Ruella got to the front post to knock a header over Pornchai from Ponpipat's free kick.

However, parity was shortly lived as Juninho's pinpoint low shot crept into the bottom left hand corner to give the Big Bang a 2-1 lead at the interval.

The game was won in six second half minutes when Olof Watson converted two penalties. The first was awarded on 58 minutes as debutant, Ri Myong Jun, was blocked in the box. The Swede duly converted to level the contest.

Six minutes later, Sarawut was tripped and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time. Despite intimidation, Watson held his nerve to coolly slot the ball into the same side of the goal.

The BBCU players and staff were clearly vexed with the penalty decisions and surrounded the match officials at full time. The first one certainly looked like a penalty but for the second, I'd have to see it again before making a firm judgement.

On the whole, I thought the Klong Toei side deserved the victory. New boy, Ri Myong Jun gave the home side that extra bit of cutting edge up front even though there seemed to be a lack of communication at times with team mates. BBCU's Juninho had lively bursts and if he can find more consistency over 90 minutes, then he might provide the spark to keep BBCU in the TPL.

The victory lifted Thai port onto 22 points while BBCU's 19 points meant they slipped back into the relegation places.

EDIT:  Having seen the replays of the 2 Thai Port penalty decisions on TV, I must confess that the second one was more convincing than the first one. Apologies!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wednesday 8 August - Preview

Pattaya v Buriram Utd
Police Utd v Muangthong Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Chonburi
TTM v Wuachon Utd
Samut Songkhram v Army
BEC Tero v Osotspa (Rajamangala)
Thai Port v BBCU
Bangkok Glass v Esan Utd
Chainat v TOT

At the time of writing, various Thai websites indicate that Samut Songkhram will host Army United at the Samut Songkhram Stadium. The Mae Klong favorites were reported to have been given a one match home ban after violence flared at the end of their last home match with Chonburi. There were rumors that the contest would be switched to Army Stadium or Rajamangala, but no conformation has ever materialized. Anyway, regardless of where it's played, Army Utd will begin a run of six successive TPL away fixtures. All this allowance of fixture juggling makes things a bit farcical in my opinion when sequences like this appear.
Another side, who'll definitely be playing at an alternative venue are BEC Tero. For some reason, their Thephasadin Stadium is unavailable so they've switched their match with Osotspa to the Rajamangala.

Leaders Muangthong make the short trip up to Thammasart visiting a Police side going for their first win in twelve. The United Stadium in Chiang Rai welcomes Chonburi for the first time while third placed Buriram travel to Nong Prue to take on a Pattaya team who've been struggling of late.

Elsewhere bottom placed TTM are looking for their second home league goal of the season as they have the company of Wuachon. Thai Port will be aiming to emulate their last meeting with BBCU which ended 3-1, although it should be noted that the Pink Panthers have improved since that encounter in June. Superstitious Bangkok Glass fans must be hoping that their 13th home game isn't unlucky as they welcome Esan Utd who could give a debut to new signing Mark Burchill. The Chainat faithful must be craving to see a rare home win as the Hornbills have only collected three points on one occasion from ten at their gaff. TOT are the latest side aiming to leave Chainat town undefeated.

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

Ratchaburi v Krabi takes centre stage with first hosting third. The pair come into the match after disappointing weekend results and will be looking to bounce back.The Dragons are unbeaten at home and will start as favorites against Krabi who haven't been firing on all cylinders lately.
Sriracha and Suphanburi will be out to avenge losses from June. The Blue Marlins were surprisingly humbled 3-0 by lowly Raj Pracha while Suphanburi were edged out 1-0 at Korat. The pair of promotion chasers should get on better with home advantage this time.
Also firmly in the hunt are PTT Rayong and Bangkok United who both enjoyed satisfactory victories last weekend. The Petroleum Authority visit a resurgent Air Force while Bangkok United make the long journey to the north eastern city of Khon Kaen

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Review 4-5 August

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

Unless Muangthong self implode, it's now a one horse race as goals from Teerasil and Gjurovski against Chiang Rai United opened up a 10 point lead for the Kirins. The northern side played the majority of the match with 10 players after the hot-headed Issawa was dismissed for an ugly challenge.
Chonburi in second were snuffed out by TTM and Buriram United stay third after the they registered their first TPL home win in four months.The winner in the 2-1 over TOT was scored by the young Thai-American Anthony Ampai.
Bireme Diouf was quick out the blocks as he put Samut Songkhram two up in the opening period at Wuachon. The Fighting Bull came back with three goals in the second half to win the contest 3-2.
The match at the Thammasart between Police and Pattaya was abandoned after a deluge of rain hit Pathumthani.

On Saturday, BEC Tero finally ended Army's 10 game unbeaten TPL run with a 3-1 victory at the Army Stadium. Osotspa moved into mid table with a goal courtesy of the pacy Tangeni Shipahu. The 1-0 defeat dropped Thai Port to 15th place. BBCU and Bangkok Glass cancelled each other out while Esan United pegged back Chainat three times to share a 3-3 draw.

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

The top 2 of Ratchaburi and Suphanburi both suffered away defeats to fellow promotion contenders. A solitary second half goal was ample for PTT to down Ratchaburi and Bangkok United edged out Suphanburi 2-1 in a tight game in Din Daeng.
Sriracha failed to cash in losing 2-0 at Korat. The Swatcats had a host of chances before Prompong's double killed off 10 man Sriracha. Meanwhile, Krabi let down their fans as they were held to a 0-0 draw by lowly Phuket.
It's now four wins in a row for Air Force as they scored two very late goals to win 3-2 at Songkla. All five goals at the Tinasulanon were scored by Africans.
Chantaburi are still losing but they are no longer being pounded with heavy defeats. Their 2-0 loss at Siam Navy was their second consecutive defeat by only a two goal margin. It shows how desperate the plight of the club is when a two goal defeat is regarded as acceptable.

Division 2 BKK
Krung Thonburi 1-0 Rangsit FC
R-BEC 2-0 Kasem Bundit
Kasetsart 3-2 Samut Sakhon
Luk Esan 2-0 Nonthaburi
Assumption Thonburi 1-0 Customs
Thai Honda 2-0 Globex
Samut Prakarn Utd 1-1 North Bangkok
Rayong United 3-2 Bangkok Christian

Samut Sakhon were the biggest losers this weekend as their 3-2 loss at third placed Kasetsart meant they lost ground on the top 4. Rayong United, Honda and R-BEC all enjoyed home wins.
Yet again, a game was switched from under the radar without much prior notice. Luk Esan v Nonthaburi was brought forward 24 hours and shifted to an alternative venue. If you are going to go to a game, then it's advisable to double check the schedule on the morning of the match just to be sure.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

JW Rangsit 1-1 Phatthalung

JW Rangsit levelled two minutes from time to snap up a deserved point against Phatthalung.

It was Phatthalung who took the lead on 16 minutes when Supakrit neatly dummied his marker to release Possapat to drill home.

JW should have been level before the break from Muniz Dos Santos' free header, but the Brazilian headed into the ground and the ball bounced over the bar.

After the interval, the young lads on stretcher duty were kept busy with a host of injuries to attend to.

The Swiftlets could have had a penalty on the hour mark but the referee awarded a free kick on the edge of the box instead.

The Equalizer
Rangsit's pressure was growing as Paul Takem forced Warut to get down quickly to knock his header around the post, and Warayut twice came within inches of connecting to crosses.

Nonetheless, JW did equalize minutes from the end as Ratchanat's cross was flicked home by the bulky Warayut past the rooted Phatthalung keeper.

A point apiece wasn't really the desired outcome as both sides sit in the bottom five. If I'm being honest the game today had a second division feel to it and that's most likely where both will end up next year.

I feel the big lad wearing #27 should be playing another sport :-)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bangkok United 2-1 Suphanburi

Romain Gasmi inspired Bangkok United as they came from behind to beat Suphanburi 2-1.

United's coach Sasom Pobprasert would have been delighted with his French skipper's contribution yet he'll also be disheartened when he looks back at a couple of comically embarrassing moments that could have proved costly for his team.

The game came to life after the break and it was the away side who broke the deadlock on 56 minutes. With the ball sailing harmlessly out for a goal kick, BU's left back, Pollawat, decided to head the ball back across goal straight into the path of Emmanuel Nwachi who tapped it into a vacant net.

The home side responded seven minutes later with Gasmi's 30 yard free kick curling into the left side of the goal.

The captain was involved in the second goal as the same right peg provided the ammunition for Sompong to glance home a header from another free kick.

There was no late rally from Suphanburi despite the host's Gilson Dias receiving a red card in the dying seconds. The stretcher was twice called for the Brazilian in the final moments, and on the second occasion the referee red carded him for feigning injury. It was hilarious watching Gilson jump off the stretcher to remonstrate with the match official as the red card was produced.

The drama wasn't over as Dias appeared to gesture towards his own coach as he walked off the field. You have to wonder if Sasom will let him wear the orange colors of Bangkok United again.

For me, I feel Bangkok United will only achieve promotion if Gasmi stays fit as without him they look nothing special. Suphanburi have a big squad and are strong defensively, but they have strengthened their team with mainly aging players who will surely be commanding large salaries. Nonetheless, their depth of their squad should prove key to getting them over the finishing line.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekend Preview 4-5 August

Esan Utd v Chainat
BBCU v Bangkok Glass
Osotspa Saraburi v Thai Port
Army Utd v BEC Tero

Wuachon v Samut Songkhram
Chonburi v TTM
Muangthong v Chiang Rai Utd
Police Utd v Pattaya
Buriram Utd v TOT

On Saturday, BBCU have the chance to make it three wins on the trot as they host Bangkok Glass. Junior Aparecido Guimaro or Juninho as the name on the back of his shirt indicates, has taken the TPL by storm with three goals from his first two games. The pint sized Brazilian could prove to be the livewire required to keep Big Bang in the TPL.
Last month BEC Tero v Army and Thai Port v Osotspa ended in drab 0-0 draws. Fingers crossed then that the reverse fixtures provide more titillation for the watching onlookers.
The Esan Utd and Chainat fixture sees two sides currently in a patchy run of form. Esan haven't won in five while Chainat have only collected one point from the last 12 available.

The Fighting Beetles of Chiang Rai are currently five unbeaten but stretching that too six looks incredibly doubtful as they travel to runaway leaders, Muangthong United.
Chonburi should have too much for TTM while Buriram will be desperate to beat TOT and secure their first home TPL win since March. Their last home league victory came against Osotspa over four months ago although the Thunder Castle did enjoy a home success on Wednesday when they eliminated Chonburi from FA Cup.
The last encounter between Samut Songkhram and Wuachon ended 4-4. Since that match, Wuachon have only picked up 2 points while Samut Songkhram are inches from safety after completing the double over Chonburi.
Despite having a fair amount of cash at their disposal, Police United are currently in the bottom three. The Crimson Cops haven't won since April and it's now twelve games without a win. Their guests this Sunday, Pattaya, have a similar unwanted record although their sequence of blanks only stretches back eight matches.

Division 1
Bangkok Utd v Suphanburi
Korat v Sriracha
Siam Navy v Chantaburi
PTT Rayong v Ratchaburi
Songkla v Air Force Utd

Krabi v FC Phuket
Khon Kaen v Bangkok FC
JW Rangsit v Pattalung
Saraburi v Raj Pracha

The first division is unique in that 16 out of the 18 clubs are realistically involved in either a promotion or a relegation battle - although you could argue that it's only 15 as the Chantaburi ship has basically already sunk. The only two clubs comfortably tucked up in the sanctuary of mid-table are Siam Navy and Korat. Both sides have improved after indifferent starts and I'm sure neither side will throw in the towel until it's mathematically impossible not to go up. Siam Navy have Chantaburi at home which virtually ensures them three points while the Swatcats reacquaint themselves with Sriracha for the third time in the last few weeks.

At the top, the game of the week is PTT Rayong v Ratchaburi. League leaders Ratchaburi have a nine point advantage over PTT in fourth and I reckon the Dragons wouldn't be too unhappy if they got a point out of this one. The Bangkok United v Suphanburi clash is also one that wets the appetite and the Angels will be looking towards their mercurial Frenchman Romain Gasmi to help them to victory.

JW Rangsit will move back closer to home as they'll play Pattalung at the Chalerm Prakiat Klong 6 Stadium. The Rangsit club are becoming detached from the main group and it's essential that they collect three points against the struggling Swiftlets. Likewise, Raj Pracha are in similar danger, and with only one win in their last twelve, it's hard to see them surviving. This Sunday they travel to Saraburi where another defeat would leave them with a mountain to climb.

Division 2 BKK
Chamchuri Utd 4-3 Central Lions (Played on Wednesday)

Krung Thonburi v Rangsit FC
R-BEC v Kasem Bundit
Kasetsart v Samut Sakhon

Luk Esan v Nonthaburi
Assumption Thonburi v Customs
Thai Honda v Globex
Samut Prakarn Utd v North Bangkok
Rayong United v Bangkok Christian

Rayong United have built up a three point gap at the top, but between second and fifth, there are only two points separating four sides. Two of them meet this Saturday with third placed Kasetsart at home to the side two places below them, Samut Sakon. Thai Honda in second, should be too strong for Globex as should R-BEC with the visit of Kasem Bundit. Leaders Rayong United host third bottom Bangkok Christian who'll hope to have John Mary their new signing from Buriram United available.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Army United 1-1 Trat (Trat won 4-3 on penalties) & Other FA Cup Results

Army United were dumped out of the Thai FA Cup after they lost 4-3 on penalties to regional league side, Trat FC.

Trat had gone close three times through Kittipan, Sittichai and Toth before they opened the scoring on 20 minutes. A free kick was floated into the box for Sittichai to head into the path of Suchakree to shoot home.

Up until that point, Army's best chance had come through a looping misplaced clearance by Thanawut that fortunately landed on his own crossbar.

The home side did improve as the half went on and Chaiwat scored from close in when a low free kick was deflected into his path.

The Division 2 side's earlier impetus faded after the break and Army came close twice with Invincible forcing the Trat's keeper into a point blank save, and Alves hit the top of the crossbar with a header.

The sides couldn't be separated after 90 minutes and as predicted extra time was about as entertaining as watching an episode of Sex and the City.

So it went into penalties with Trat's keeper saving the first effort from Army. Every spot kick after that was converted until Alves blasted one over the bar to give the White Elephants the 4-3 victory on penalties.

Trat fans celebrate
Army's cup exit tonight was the third time in little over a year that they've been eliminated by a regional league side. Their loss highlighted the ongoing problem of a lack of strike force, and unless a proven goalscorer is found, I doubt Army will maintain their top 6 status in the TPL. As for Trat, they can be incredibly proud with their performance. For the first 30 minutes they were excellent in attack and when they tired towards the end they defended ruggedly. If they keep playing with this spirit, they should be in Division 1 next season.

Other FA Cup Results
Police 6-5 Wuachon Utd (Pens)
Chainat 1-0 TOT
Ayutthaya 2-1 Krabi (AET)
Buriram Utd 3-2 Chonburi
Rayong FC 2-3 Thai Port (AET)
BBCU 0-1 Ratchaburi
Bangkok Glass 3-0 Osotspa
Muangthong 2-1 Hat Yai
Pattaya 0-1 BEC Tero
Suphanburi 2-1 Bangkok FC (AET)

(August 15)
PTT Rayong v Isan Utd
TTM v Korat
Songkla v Bangkok Utd
Samut Songkhram v Raj Pracha
Khon Kaen v Chiang Rai Utd