Sunday, September 30, 2012

JW Rangsit 3-2 Bangkok FC

JW Rangsit blitzed Bangkok FC with three late goals as they kept their mathematical hopes of survival alive. On reflection Bangkok FC will rue not wrapping the game up when they held a 1-0 advantage for a long period during the match.

JW Rangsit 0-1 Bangkok FC
It was a sluggish opening as both sides found it difficult to get any flow to their game on the sticky pitch. However, Lee Tuck swept home from Danquah's cross to give the guests the lead shortly before the half hour mark.

The Bulligans shaded the first half and they continued to press for a second goal after the break with Samuel Danquah squandering three reasonable opportunities. He blasted over twice from inside the box, and headed straight into the arms of Piraya after a pinpoint cross from Tuck.
JW Rangsit 1-1 Bangkok FC

The introduction of Andre Santos on 70 minutes was the catalyst that sparked the hosts into life. Within a couple of minutes, the substitute levelled when he guided home a cross from the left with his head.

JW Rangsit 2-1 Bangkok FC
Seconds later, Tameezee made it 2-1 to JW after he played a 1-2 with Leslie Ablorh to curtail any thoughts the Bulligans had of gathering three points.

Bangkok FC tried to find an equalizer but they were undone as Ablorh and Santos passed their way too easily through the Bangkok defence to set up Ratchapark who made the contest safe with a couple of minutes left on the clock.

Second half sub, Jo 5 Yards, had other ideas though pulling one back in injury time for the Iron Bulls but it was too little too late.

The victory lifted JW Rangsit to within six points from safety with five matches to go, yet virtually nobody envisages them staying in the first division. They've taken some notable scalps in one off contests this season with Suphanburi and PTT Rayong amongst the victims. With literally a dozen fans it's clear to see why they can't consistently match other sides in the league with bigger budgets.

Bangkok FC have their heads just above water in sixth bottom which shouldn't be the case given the amount of players they have with TPL experience. It's going to be touch and go whether or not they'll stay up but I think they'll just about do it.

Division 2 Champions League Draw & Fixtures

Group A 
Ayutthaya, Roi Et Utd, Pattani, Phitsanoluk, Rayong Utd, Paknampo NSRU

Group B
Thai Honda, Chiang Mai FC, Trang, Rayong FC, Sisaket Utd, Trat

The are two mini-leagues of six and the teams will play each other home and away. After 10 matches, the top two sides in the groups will be promoted to the first division.
The first round of fixtures will be played next weekend:

Group A
Pattani v Roi Et Utd (6 Oct)
NSRU v Phitsanoluk (6 Oct)
Ayutthaya v Rayong Utd (7 Oct)

(14 Oct)
NSRU v Pattani
Roi Et Utd v Ayutthaya
Rayong Utd v Phitsanoluk

(20 Oct)
Phitsanoluk v Pattani
Rayong Utd v Roi Et Utd
Ayutthaya v NSRU

(28 Oct)
Pattani v Ayutthaya
Roi Et v Phitsanoluk
NSRU v Rayong Utd

(3 Nov)
Rayong Utd v Pattani
Roi Et Utd v NSRU
Phitsanoluk v Ayutthaya

(11 Nov)
Rayong Utd v Ayutthaya
Phitsanoluk v NSRU
Roi Et Utd v Pattani

(17 Nov)
Pattani v NSRU
Ayutthaya v Roi Et Utd
Phitsanoluk v Rayong Utd

(25 Nov)
Pattani v Phitsanoluk
Roi Et Utd v Rayong Utd
NSRU v Ayutthaya

(1 Dec)
Ayutthaya v Pattani
Phitsanoluk v Roi Et Utd
Rayong Utd v NSRU

(9 Dec)
Pattani v Rayong Utd
NSRU v Roi Et Utd
Ayutthaya v Phitsanoluk

Group B
(7 Oct)
Trat v Trang
Thai Honda v Sisaket Utd
Rayong FC v Chiang Mai FC

(13 Oct)
Thai Honda v Trat
Trang v Rayong FC
Chiang Mai FC v Sisaket Utd

(21 Oct)
Sisaket Utd v Trat
Rayong FC v Thai Honda
(22 Oct)
Chiang Mai FC v Trang

(27 Oct)
Trat v Rayong FC
Thai Honda v Chiang Mai FC
Trang v Sisaket Utd (28 Oct)

(3 Nov)
Chiang Mai FC v Trat
(4 Nov)
Trang v Thai Honda
Sisaket Utd v Rayong FC

(10 Nov)
Trang v Trat
Sisaket Utd v Thai Honda
Chiang Mai FC v Rayong FC

(18 Nov)
Trat v Thai Honda
Rayong FC v Trang
Sisaket Utd v Chiang Mai FC

(24 Nov)
Trat v Sisaket Utd
Trang v Chiang Mai FC
Thai Honda v Rayong FC

(2 Dec)
Rayong FC v Trat
Chiang Mai FC v Thai Honda
Sisaket Utd v Trang

(8 Dec)
Trat v Chiang Mai FC
Thai Honda v Trang
Rayong FC v Sisaket Utd

Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekend Preview 29-30 September

Thai Port v Samut Songkhram
Buriram Utd v BEC Tero
Bangkok Glass v TTM

Chainat v Chiang Rai Utd
Esan Utd v Pattaya Utd
BBCU v Muangthong Utd
Army Utd v Wuachon Utd
Police Utd v TOT

With half a dozen games left, the big question now is who will accompany BBCU and TTM into Division 1. The title is destined to Muangthong while BBCU and TTM need something spectacular to happen if they have any chance of surviving.
On Wednesday night, Police United earned a valuable three points as they beat Pattaya 1-0. The victory lifted the Pathumthani club onto 28 points, one point and one place above Thai Port in 16th position.
The three clubs currently embroiled in fighting the drop all have home games over what will be regarded as beatable mid-table opposition. On Saturday, Thai Port welcome Samut Songkhram while on Sunday Chainat entertain Chiang Rai Utd and Police host TOT.

The Rajamangala should see it's biggest attendance to date this season with the visit of Muangthong. The league leaders only need three more wins from their last six outings to be confirmed as champions. After last week's loss to Wuachon, Buriram United can no longer catch Muangthong as their year reign as champions is set to end. This weekend they host familiar foes BEC Tero for what seems like the umpteenth time in the last couple of seasons. The pair will also once again reacquaint next Wednesday in the FA Cup.

Bangkok Glass will see the visit of TTM as a chance to end their barren five game run. TTM"s tenure in the TPL is as good as over and even if they won their six remaining games, they'd only have 35 points which probably wouldn't be enough to maintain their top flight status. A win for Esan United over Pattaya would cement their lofty fifth placed perch while Army will want to halt their three game losing run with victory over Wuachon United.

Division 1
Songkla v Raj Pracha
PTT Rayong v Korat
Krabi v Bangkok Utd
Siam Navy v Khon Kaen

JW Rangsit v Bangkok FC
Chantaburi v Suphanburi
FC Phuket v Sriracha
Ratchaburi v Saraburi
Air Force Utd v Phatthalung

Top dogs Ratchaburi host the league's form side, Saraburi. At the end of August, things were looking bleak for Saraburi, but four wins this month have propelled the Warlords six points clear of danger.
Up until last weekend, Bangkok United were 11 games unbeaten and sitting pretty in second place. However their home loss to PTT saw them drop to fourth below Suphanburi and Sriracha. All three sides hit the road this weekend with Bangkok United at Krabi, Sriracha at a faltering FC Phuket and Suphanburi travel to a Chantaburi side whose leaky defence will be trying to prevent the 100th goal to breach their net this season. Any slip ups from the trio would allow PTT Rayong back into the picture provided they beat draw experts Korat.
At the other end, Songkla must beat Raj Pracha while Khon Kaen need to pick up points at Siam Navy after collecting only one from the last twelve available. Bangkok FC will hope the away fixture at JW Rangsit makes it a hat-trick of wins, and I'm positive Phatthalung would be satisfied if they extended their drawing sequence to five after their trip to Air Force United.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday Sep 26 Round-up

AFC Cup - Second Leg
Al Shorta SC (4) 2 v 4 (5) Chonburi (AET)

Chonburi staged a fantastic comeback as they edged out Al Shorta 5-4 on aggregate. The Syrians missed a penalty before Pipob and Thiago gave Chonburi a 2-0 half time lead. Al Shorta then converted a second half penalty as the 2-1 scoreline forced the tie to extra time. In the 94th minute the writing looked to be on the wall for the Sharks as Al Shorta scored again, but a Thiago double in the second period of extra time earned the Thai side a memorable victory.
Chonburi will now face Arbil of Iraq in the semi final. The first leg will be played on 2nd October at the Arbil Stadium.

Other quarter finals:
Al Ettifaq (Saudi Arabia) (4) 2-0 (0) Arema Indonesia
Kelantan (Malaysia) (2) 1-1 (6) Arbil (Iraq)
Al Wehdat (Jordan) (0) 0-3 (3) Kuwait SC

Toyota League Cup - Last 4 First Leg
Bangkok Glass 2-3 Buriram Utd
Ratchaburi 1-0 TOT

It was a topsy-turvy game at the Leo Stadium as Buriram United established a 3-2 lead over Bangkok Glass. Strikes from Honda and Jerkovic had the cup holders on easy street but goals from Chatree and Ajayi seemed to have earned the hosts a valuable draw. It wasn't to be as Ekwalla converted a penalty deep into injury time to give the Thunder Castle a 3-2 advantage. The penalty award was harsh which prompted some Glass supporters to bottle the match officials and rival fans at the end of the match.
Ratchaburi took a deserved 1-0 lead over TOT after they enjoyed the better part of possession and chances. Douglas Cardozo's 65th minute strike won it for the Division 1 side. TOT's best effort came in the first half when Paunovic's downward header was knocked onto the bar via Henri Joel.

Police Utd 1-0 Pattaya Utd

Police United moved back out of the relegation zone at the expense of Thai Port with a tight 1-0 victory over Pattaya. The only goal of the game came on the half hour mark from Tana's header.

Division 2 Playoff
Pattani 1-1 R-BEC (Pattani won 5-4 on penalties)

Pattani kept their nerve in the penalty shoot out to claim the twelfth and final spot in the Division 2 champions League. R-BEC's first half lead was cancelled out by Pattani as both sides couldn't be separated after 90 minutes.  Pattani now wait for Saturday's draw to see who they be pitted against in the group stages.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wednesday 26 September Preview

FC Cup - Second Leg
Al Shorta SC (2) v (1) Chonburi

Al Shorta's 2-1 win in Thailand last week has the tie firmly in control of the Syrian side. It's never over until the fat lady sings and I believe there are some positives Chonburi can take with them to the Middle East:
a) the tie will be played at a neutral venue in Jordon and not in Syria
b) last year Chonburi beat eventual winners Nasaf 1-0 in the away leg of the last 8 after the Sharks had lost the home leg 1-0
c) Thiago was the outstanding player of the match last week showing that he has the ability to mix it at this level
d) the Al Shorta keeper, Karkar was far from convincing in the first leg and he looks like he's got a mistake or two in him

In addition to that, several Chonburi players went missing in the home leg, and I feel they need to step to the mark if the Thai side have any chance of overturning this deficit.

Other quarter finals:
Al Ettifaq (Saudi Arabia) (2) v (0) Arema Indonesia
Kelantan (Malaysia) (1) v (5) Arbil (Iraq)
Al Wehdat (Jordan) (0) v (0) Kuwait SC

Toyota League Cup - Last 4 First Leg
Bangkok Glass v Buriram Utd
Ratchaburi v TOT

Cup holders Buriram United probably drew the tie that they wouldn't have wanted as they were pitted against Bangkok Glass. Nonetheless, Buriram will be buoyed by the fact that they've won the six previous TPL meetings against BG and they'd be disappointed if they didn't reach their third consecutive Toyota League Cup final. BG's league form has been woeful recently with only two points collected from the last 15 available. The cups have been a refreshing break for Glass, but now is the time for their overpaid, underachieving squad to repay the money invested in assembling them. They are only 180 minutes away from reaching their first ever domestic cup final.
The other tie between Ratchaburi and TOT is a close one to call as both sides have had seasons that they can be proud of. Ratchaburi are on the verge of joining the TPL cast while TOT, despite having a limited squad and budget, have nestled into the sanctuary of mid-table TPL safety.

Police Utd v Pattaya Utd

It's take two as Police and Pattaya try to conclude the match which was postponed back in the beginning of August. For Police it's a must win match after they slipped back into the bottom 3 last weekend following their 1-0 loss to Esan Utd. Three points would lift the Pathumthani club back above Thai Port into 15th position.
Pattaya have 33 points and they'll be hoping the recent goal glut from Ludo continues as the Dolphins bid to secure a top half finish. It's now six goals in four for the Pattaya hitman.

Division 2 Playoff
Pattani v R-BEC

The winner of this tie will be the final twelfth team to complete the line up for the Division 2 Champions League. As the match will be played in Songkla, it will have the feeling of a home game for Pattani.
The winner of this will join Chiang Mai FC, NSRU, Phitsanoluk, Roi Et, Sisaket Utd, Ayutthaya, Rayong FC, Trat, Thai Honda, Rayong Utd and Trang in Saturday's group draw.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekend Review 22-23 September

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

Thai Port submitted their best away result of the season as they beat BEC Tero 2-0 at the Supachalasai. Port had to soak up a lot of pressure but an early goal from Ri Myong Jun and a late one from Alex Ruella ensured the points headed back to Klong Toei. That win lifted TP out of the drop zone due to Police United losing at home to Esan Utd. Wuttichai's 83rd minute goal started off the Crimson Cops seven game home run with a defeat.
Chainat hit the 30 point mark with a 3-2 win at TTM. More importantly, they are five points above Police although the Hornbills have played one extra game.
Ludovick Takem was once again on the score sheet as Pattaya beat BBCU 2-0. That win for the Dolphins moves them onto 33 points which should more or less be enough to survive while BBCU probably need four wins from their last six to have any chance of staying in the TPL

Two recent additions in the summer transfer window from Brazil were both on hand as Muangthong and Chonburi maintained their strangleholds on first and second spots. Rangel's 76 minute goals was the difference as Muangthong edged out Osotspa 2-1 while Thaigo's brace helped Chonburi come from behind to defeat Army 3-1.
A crowd of over 7,000 in Songkla watched the club formerly known as Buriram FC beat Buriram United 2-1. The loss for the Thunder Castle leaves them eight points behind second placed Chonburi with the domestic cups now the priority for the 2011 TPL champs.

An own goal helped TOT win in Chiang Rai to stay in ninth while Samut Songkhram's 3-2 over Bangkok Glass moved them into tenth position.
Division 1
Phatthalung 3-3 Ratchaburi
Sriracha 3-0 Chantaburi
Suphanburi 2-0 Siam Navy
Khon Kaen 1-3 Krabi
Bangkok Utd 0-1 PTT Rayong
Raj Pracha 1-0 JW Rangsit
Bangkok FC 2-1 Air Force Utd
Saraburi 5-1 FC Phuket
Korat 2-2 Songkla

The match between Phatthalung and Ratchaburi was certainly an eventful one. The Dragons appeared to be heading for a routine victory with two early goals. The Swiftlets then defied the odds and fought back to take a 3-2 lead before Ratchaburi were awarded a late penalty. The game was subsequently delayed for roughly 20 minutes as objects rained down on the pitch because the home fans were venting their disapproval. Douglas eventually took the kick to level while the officials were left to face the fury of the disgruntled locals.
PTT Rayong kept their season alive with a 1-0 victory at Bangkok United. Josef Tirer's sweetly curled goal prevented Bkk Utd from making it a dozen unbeaten, but a bigger concern would be that the Angels plummeted to fourth spot. Suphanburi and Sriracha both moved up a notch after comfortable home victories. 

Krabi ended a harrowing week on a positive note with a 3-1 win at Khon Kaen. It was the Energy's first win in three while the defeat for the T-Rex leaves them with sobering prospects of back to back demotions. Khon Kaen fell into the bottom 5 after Lee Tuck's stoppage time winner helped the Bulligans jump out of the relegation zone.

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

With none of the top five winning on the last day, there were to be no changes to the final positions. The winner takes all clash between Rayong Utd and R-BEC ended in a 1-1 draw. It's was another regional league contest laced with unprofessionalism and thuggery. R-BEC took an early lead before Rayong Utd were reduced to 10 men in the first half. After the break, the home keeper punched an R-BEC player in the face after he took exception a challenge. As the referee was about to red card him, the whistler had to run for his life as a moron playing for Rayong Utd was going to rip his head off. Oh, and by the way, Rayong Utd scored a late goal to earn a 1-1 draw and claim second spot.
R-BEC were gutted at the final whistle, as they hadn't realized that Kasetsart had only drawn at home to Luk Esan. The Emerald Naga's failure to win means that R-BEC will face Pattani in a playoff this Wednesday in Songkla to see who will be the final 12th side in the Champions league. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekend Preview 22-23 September

Pattaya v BBCU
Wuachon v Buriram Utd
Chonburi v Army
Muangthong Utd v Osotspa Saraburi

Chiang Rai Utd v TOT
TTM v Chainat
Samut Songkhram v Bangkok Glass
BEC Tero v Thai Port
Police Utd v Esan Utd

Police United begin a string of seven home games with the visit of Esan Utd kicking things off. It's been well documented that their Thammasart Stadium was unavailable for months after the flood, but rather than seek an alternative home venue, the TPL allowed Police to switch fixtures which is why we have this unparalleled fixture list.
Most pundits will be tipping Police to beat the drop with Thai Port, BBCU and TTM making the plunge into Division 1. Another side firmly enveloped in the relegation dogfight, Chainat, travel to Chiang Mai and need three points at TTM to move onto the 30 point mark. Thai Port make the crosstown trip to BEC Tero while BBCU travel to Nong Prue to face Pattaya. The Dolphin's Ludo has been on a rich vein of scoring form netting five goals in his last three games.

At the top, Muangthong must recover from their first set back of the season as they were ousted from the league cup by TOT on Wednesday. They take on an unpredictable Osotspa who'll be aiming to twist the knife into the league leader's wounded pride.
Chonburi also have a chance to put their midweek AFC Cup disappointments to bed as they welcome Army Utd while Buriram's trip to Songkla will see them face a weakened Wuachon who have several Buriram loanees on their books.

Chiang Rai Utd would move above TOT if they can beat them at the United Stadium while Samut Songkhram would just about book their TPL status for 2013 if they collect three points at home to Bangkok Glass.
Division 1
Phatthalung v Ratchaburi
Sriracha v Chantaburi
Suphanburi v Siam Navy
Khon Kaen v Krabi
Bangkok Utd v PTT Rayong

Raj Pracha v JW Rangsit
Bangkok FC v Air Force Utd
Saraburi v FC Phuket
Korat v Songkla

PTT Rayong's season hinges on their trip to Bangkok United this weekend. A loss in Din Daeng would leave them 9 points behind the Bangkok Angels and a possible 7 behind Suphanburi should they beat Siam Navy as expected. The curse of the Thai-Yeepun has long since vanished with United currently on a four game winning streak at home.
Fourth placed Sriracha can play their wild card this week with the visit of Chantaburi. The Hares have already bitten the dust and they'll be joined by Raj Pracha and JW Rangsit very shortly. That leaves a possible two from six to complete the quintet of sides demoted to the regional leagues.
Rumblings from the south indicate that Songkla FC will vanish into thin air should they be relegated and will possibly reappear as Songkla United in the TPL via the aid of a fighting bull originally from Buriram. This Sunday, Songkla make the long trip up to Korat with the clock on their 13 year existence slowly whittling down.
The other five teams in the mire are Saraburi, FC Phuket, Phatthalung, Khon Kaen and Bangkok FC. The form book says Saraburi should beat FC Phuket while Bangkok FC and Khon Kaen host mid-table opposition. Phatthalung have the most difficult task as they welcome high flying Ratchaburi.

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

Here are the standings at the top as we enter the final game:
Thai Honda 71
Rayong Utd 66
R-BEC 64
Kasetsart 64
Samut Sakhon 62

Listed below are the possible permutations:
Thai Honda have already qualified for the playoffs as league winners.
The winner of Rayong United and R-BEC will claim second place.
A point would be sufficient for Rayong to finish second.
Rayong and R-BEC both have better head-to-head records over Kasetsart.
If Kasetsart beat Luk Esan they will finish third no matter the outcome of Rayong Utd v R-BEC.
For Samut Sakhon to finish third, they need R-BEC to lose and Kasetsart not to win. R-BEC beat Samut Sakhon on head-to-head but Samut Sakhon have a superior h2h over Kasetsart.

The top two automatically go into the playoffs while the third side will play the second placed club from the south in a one off tie in Songkla next Wednesday.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

AFC & TLC Round-up

Toyota League Cup - Last 8 Second Leg
Wuachon Utd (1) 1-0 (2) Ratchaburi
BEC Tero (3) 2-2 (3) Buriram Utd (BUtd win on away goals)
TOT (4) 2-2 (3) Muangthong Utd

2-2 draws for big guns Muangthong and Buriram Utd produced contrasting outcomes. Muangthong's draw at TOT was their first real blip of the season and it saw them exit the tournament. Gjurovski gave the TPL leaders the lead but two goals either side of the break by Paunovic had TOT firmly in the driving seat. Rangel did pull one back for MTU yet they couldn't find that elusive third goal.
At the Thephasadin, a double from Silva had BEC Tero 2-0 up and heading for the semi finals. However, Buriram weren't going to relinquish their trophy and fought back with two late goals to squeeze through to the last 4.
Wuachon's early goal was all the could manage as they lost 2-1 on aggregate to Ratchaburi. The Dragons join Buriram Utd, TOT and Bangkok Glass in the semi final draw this afternoon.

AFC Cup - Last 8 First Leg
Chonburi 1-2 Al Shorta SC

Two goals shortly before the interval put a severe dent into Chonburi’s AFC Cup hopes as they lost 2-1 at home to Al Shorta of Syria. The Thai side now have a mountain to climb when they travel to Jordan next week to salvage the tie.
The Sharks got off to a dream start scoring a goal within three minutes through Thiago. However, two goals on the cusp of half time through Al Jafal and De Soares dealt a double blow to the Sharks leaving them trailing 2-1.
Chonburi had chances in the second half with Thiago being a constant threat. Al Shorta though, got the job done as they held out to claim a precious 2-1 away victory.

Other quarter finals:
Arema Indonesia 0-2 Al Ettifaq (Saudi Arabia)
Arbil (Iraq) 5-1 Kelantan (Malaysia)
Kuwait SC 0-0  Al Wehdat (Jordan)

Monday, September 17, 2012

TLC & AFC Cup Last 8 - Previews

AFC Cup - Last 8 First Leg
Chonburi v Al Shorta SC (Tuesday)

Chonburi welcome Al Shorta of Syria for the first leg of the AFC Cup quarter finals. The Sharks have little to play for on the domestic front now so all their eggs are now firmly in the AFC basket. It won't be easy against the current back-to-back Syrian league champions though. The Damascus based club achieved the highest points total out of the eight qualifying groups amassing 15 points on their way to securing Group E. On the home front, it's been a turbulent time for Syrians due to the ongoing civil war. As a consequence, the second leg will be played in Jordan at the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahad Stadium in Zerqa City.

Other quarter finals:
Arema Indonesia v Al Ettifaq (Saudi Arabia)
Arbil (Iraq) v Kelantan (Malaysia)
Kuwait SC v  Al Wehdat (Jordan)

Toyota League Cup - Last 8 Second Leg
Wuachon Utd (0) v (2) Ratchaburi
BEC Tero (1) v (1) Buriram Utd
TOT (2) v (1) Muangthong Utd

With Bangkok Glass already booking their spot in the last 4, the three remaining ties will be contested on Wednesday to find out who'll accompany the Rabbits into the hat for the semi final draw.
TOT edged into an unforeseen 2-1 lead over TPL leaders Muangthong Utd despite having to combat against some questionable refereeing decisions. With the league title effectively secured, Muangthong may opt to field their strongest possible starting XI as they bid to complete the domestic treble.
Unexpectedly, Buriram United only have the two domestic cups left to play for and they'll certainly be going all out to retain both of them. With the tie between Tero and Buriram poised at 1-1, it's anybody's guess who'll progress to the last 4.
First division leaders, Ratchaburi, posted an impressive 2-0 home win in the first leg against Wuachon. The Fighting Bull has been limping lately and it will take a massive upturn of form if they are to salvage this cup tie.

Weekend Review 15-16 September

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

Muangthong opened up a 13 point lead as they beat Army United 2-1. First half goals from Dagno Siaka and Barakat won it for the Kirins on a pitch that was more akin to water polo rather than soccer.
At the shallow end, a point apiece would have suited Police Utd more than BBCU as the Pathumthani side came from behind. Adisak gave the Big Bang an early lead but Surachat scored his second goal of the week at the Rajamangala levelling for Police on the 77th minute. Coincidentally, this was the same minute that Frank Achaempong buried Thai Port's hopes of sneaking a point with his strike proving to be the only goal of the contest. Ittipol was then red carded shortly afterwards for a wild kick into the midriff of the Buriram goalscorer.
Chainat remain afloat but they'll have been disappointed to have thrown away a first half lead against Samut Songkhram. Meanwhile, the last rights have been read on TTM after they lost 1-0 at TOT. The game was delayed for over an hour due to a rainstorm prior to kick off.
Elsewhere, Bangkok Glass and BEC Tero couldn't be separated after they drew 1-1 at the Leo Stadium while it was a day for the overseas contingent in Saraburi as all six goals were netted by foreigners as Osotspa beat Pattaya 4-2. Esan Utd and Chaing Rai equaled that six goal quota as they drew 3-3.

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

It's as you were at the top of Division 1 as the top 5 all submitted victories. Leaders Ratchaburi came from a goal down to beat Air Force Utd 3-1. Bangkok Utd, Suphanburi, Sriracha all won on the road while a brace from Adisak kept PTT hanging on as they beat Khon Kaen 2-1.
The Bulligans moved a step closer to safety thanks to Solomon Okotu's penalty shortly before the interval. The loss for Raj Pracha extinguishes any lingering hopes of survival and it's now only a matter of time until they are officially doomed.

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

R-BEC's 6-1 demolition of Chamchuri moved them right back into contention with their destiny firmly in their own hands. The Tero youth squad have a winner takes all clash with Rayong United next Saturday as one of them bids to join Thai Honda in the play-offs. Rayong Utd secured a 2-2 draw at Samut Prakarn Utd with a late penalty equalizer which prompted the home supporters and staff to throw their toys out of the pram.
Kasetsart came from behind to pick up a precious point despite dropping a place to fourth. With Rayong Utd and R-BEC meeting next week, the university side will finish third provided they beat Luk Esan.
Samut Sakhon's 90th minute winner at Luk Esan kept their mathematical promotion dreams alive, albeit very slim ones.
Central Lions 3-2 loss at Globex ensures that the Lions will be leaving the regional leagues after only one season back. They'll join Nonthaburi in oblivion somewhere.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Army United 1-2 Muangthong United

Two goals in the middle of the first half won it for Muangthong as they beat Army Utd 2-1 on a gloomy, sodden night in Bangkok.

It was Army who made the better start with Daniel Blanco sliding one inches wide and Jakkapong forcing Kawin to save his 40 yard free kick.

However, it was the league leaders who took the lead on 26 minutes. A long cross from the left was headed back from the byline by Piyaphon for Dagno Siaka to knock the ball over the line.

Within minutes the Kirins doubled their lead from the spot after the chestnut rinsed Jakkraphan was chopped down in the box by Narong. Adnan Barakat's kick was dispatched into the bottom right corner past an aggrieved Kosin who'd guessed the right way.

The rain continued to pound down making the surface almost unplayable. Any tactics from either side were washed away as the match resembled an under 9's kick about in a waterlogged public park.

Despite the farcical conditions, Army tried to salvage something with Invincible heading close and Anuwat flashing a couple of long range free kicks inches wide. The Army faithful also vented their anger towards the referee after he waved away three decent penalty claims.

Muangthong were quite content to soak up the pressure and hit on the break. Kawin and his defensive colleagues were seconds away from earning their clean sheet bonus, but a looping Alves header from a free kick deep into stoppage time meant that reward was flushed down the drain.

Muangthong now move a massive 13 points clear of Chonburi leaving the itching fingers of the TPL trophy engraver ready to carve a capital M onto the trophy.

It's hard to analyse a match when it's played in soaking conditions like tonight. Muangthong probably showed why they are the champions elect as they won a tough match despite not being at their fluent best. Army fought right to the end and will dwell on what could have been if the heavens never opened.

Bangkok Glass 1-1 BEC Tero

Bangkok Glass and BEC Tero continue their battle for fourth place after the pair drew 1-1 at the Leo Stadium.

An early corner given to the hosts was unconvincingly punched out by Pisan straight to Leesaw who was on hand to smash home from the edge of the box.

Cleiton Silva's free kick was tipped over by Kritsana and Koomson fired wide after slack play at the back as BEC Tero began to dominate possession.

BG were mainly reliant on pacy counter attacks with Anuwin's shot being smartly saved by Pisan on the half hour mark.

Yusake Kato then came close twice to equalizing. His first attempt was headed onto the roof of the net, and then he fired straight at Kritsana after an Arzu free kick had been rebounded into his path.

As half time approached, Tero deservedly levelled when a deep cross from the left was cut back by Kato to Koomson who controlled before firing the ball into the roof of the net.

After the break, the fluency was with the away side with Arzu, Koomson, Kato and Rangsan all going close with Tero goalkeeper Pisan being a virtual spectator in the second period.

Despite the dominance of BEC, it was BG who almost snatched it late on as Leesaw struck the post after he'd turned neatly on the edge of the box.

The Fire Dragons stay four points above Bangkok Glass after today's draw, and from what I witnessed Tero will certainly finish higher than Glass in the league. The midfield trio of Arzu, Rangsan and Kato are as good as any in the league. With the skillful Silva and Koomson playing off the midfield, you wonder how BEC aren't challenging for the title. My main criticism of Tero is that they play too many horizontal passes when they have possession. For anybody who watches the EPL, they remind me a lot of Swansea.
As for Glass, that's their third draw of the week despite being mainly outplayed by their opponents once again. Their squad certainly has enough depth and if they can click between now and the end of the season, then could win one of the cups.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weekend Preview 15-16 September & Midweek Results

Bangkok Glass v BEC Tero
BBCU v Police Utd
Osotspa Saraburi v Pattaya Utd
Buriram Utd v Thai Port

Army Utd v Muangthong Utd
Chainat v Samut Songkhram
Esan Utd v Chaing Rai Utd

Muangthong have found the Army Stadium a troublesome venue and they've failed to win there on their previous two TPL attempts. In the early days of last season, Army swept aside the Nonthaburi club 3-0 as they marched to the summit of the league. This will be Army's first home game in Bangkok since August 4th when they lost 3-1 to BEC Tero.
The significant clash at the bottom is 17th placed BBCU against Police Utd in 15th. The Thammasart favorites will begin a series of seven home matches after this one and you feel a point may be satisfactory. For BBCU a win is essential and failure to collect three points would leave them in a perilous position.
The club sandwiched inbetween BBCU and Police are Thai Port. The face a tough trip to Buriram although they will be buoyed by the fact that they beat the current champions at the PAT earlier in the season.
Chainat perch just above the relegation zone and will see the visit of Samut Songkhram as a chance to pull away from trouble. With 19 goals conceded in their last five and only one clean sheet in their last 11, attack would appear to be the best form of defence for the Hornbills. 
Most of us have already written TTM off. The Tobacco Monopoly visit TOT who will be looking to bounce back from last week's 4-0 drubbing at Samut Songkhram.
Elsewhere, the unpredictable duo of Bangkok Glass and BEC Tero will either fight out a 0-0 stalemate or a 5-5 thriller. Three points for Pattaya at Osotspa would pretty much guarantee their top flight status for another season and likewise Chiang Rai Utd will be sharing similar thoughts as they visit Esan Utd.

Division 1
PTT Rayong v Khon Kaen
Raj Pracha v Bangkok FC
Chantaburi v Saraburi

JW Rangsit v Korat
FC Phuket v Phatthalung
Ratchaburi v Air Force Utd
Krabi v Suphanburi
Songkla v Bangkok Utd
Siam Navy v Sriracha

Realistically it's two from four as Bangkok Utd, Suphanburi, Sriracha and PTT Rayong battle it out to join TPL bound Ratchaburi in the top flight.
PTT are hanging onto the coattails of the promotion race and they would move closer to the top three with victory over Khon Kaen on Saturday.  On the following day, the other three sides travel away from home. Bangkok United and Suphanburi head south with trips to Songkla and Krabi respectively while Sriracha make the short journey down the coast to Sattahip to take on Siam Navy.
Zico issued a war cry a earlier in the week saying that his side will fight until the death to avoid relegation. The Bulligans remaining eight games are mainly against lower league sides with a trip to Raj Pracha providing the first of eight cup finals for Bangkok FC.

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

Promotion is now out of the hands of R-BEC and Samut Sakhon and all they can do now is hope that Rayong United and Kasetsart slip up. The pair in second and third have testing away games with Rayong Utd at Samut Prakarn Utd and Kasetsart at North Bangkok.
Thai Honda have already qualified for the playoffs and they'll be able to chop and change their starting 11 for their trip to Assumption.
With Nonthaburi already assured a dreaded bottom two finish, another loss for Central Lions at Globex would ensure that they join Eka in oblivion next year.

Toyota League Cup - Last 8 Second Leg
Chonburi 1 v 1 Bangkok Glass (BG won 2-1 on agg.)

BG progressed to the semi finals with a 2-1 aggregate win over Chonburi. Samual Ajayi's well taken goal a minute after the break was the crucial strike. Despite having the better of the match, Therdsak's late penalty was all the Sharks could muster as they bowed out of the Toyota League Cup.

International Friendly
Thailand 2-1 Laos

Teeratorn's late penalty spared Thailand's blushes as they came from behind to beat Laos 2-1 at a virtually empty Rajamangala Stadium. Laos took an early lead through Sopa Chaichana and smacked the crossbar as the underdogs held the lead for over an hour. Police United's Surachart pulled one back before Teeratorn netted from the spot after the Thais were awarded a softish penalty.
It was another unconvincing performance for the side show that appears to be playing second fiddle to domestic league and cup competitions.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Review 8-9 September & Midweek Fixtures

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

Chonburi completed the double over Buriram United with a 4-2 victory at the Chonburi Stadium. It was very much a day for foreigners as the seven goals were scored by overseas players while the game was refereed by Uzbek officials.
Goals from Rangel and Piyaphon kept Muangthong on course for the title as they beat Wuachon 2-0.
A crowd of almost 4,000 witnessed another Cleiton Silva hat-trick as the Fire Dragons saw off Chainat 4-2 in their first match under the guidance of SGE. The Hornbills must be having a nervous look over their shoulders as they are in danger of being swept into the drop zone.
Thai Port slipped into the bottom three after they were held to a goalless draw by Bangkok Glass. The Port Lions were the better side throughout and will look towards an 84th minute Bangkok Glass goal line clearance which they felt crossed the line.
At the Thammasart, Police United moved above Thai Port after a 78th minute goal from Tana earned them a 1-0 over Osotspa. The Crimson Cops certainly had the rub of the green as Osotspa had a perfectly good goal chalked off midway through the second period.
BBCU and TTM remain in trouble. The Pink Panthers lost 2-0 at a packed United Stadium while TTM fought out a scrappy 0-0 draw with Esan Utd.
Samut Songkhram eased to a 4-0 victory over TOT with Napat scoring and creating two. TOT were raging when officials failed to spot what they felt was a legitimate goal with the score at 1-0.
Ludovik Takem was the Dolphins saviour once again as his brace against Army moved the eastern seaboard club six points above the relegation placings. 

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

Ratchaburi's push for the title continued as they eased to a 3-1 against Bangkok FC. Three first half goals put the Dragons firmly in the driving seat as the Bulligan's woes continued. The big spending Bang Mot club are now four points from safety.
Bangkok United made it 10 unbeaten and remain on course to join Ratchaburi in the TPL. They beat JW Rangsit 2-0 while Suphanburi make up the top three. The Warriors earned an impressive 3-0 win over promotion rivals PTT Rayong.
Sriracha more or less called time on Krabi's promotion bid with a goal from Berlin in their 1-0 victory over the Energy.
Chantaburi's first division status finally bit the dust even though they achieved an encouraging 2-2 draw at Phatthalung. An injury time goal ended the Hares 15 game losing streak and kept up their unbeaten record against Phatthalung this season. Dropping four points against Chantaburi could prove costly for the Swiftlets come the end of the season.

Division 2 BKK
Assumption Thonburi 1-0 Samut Prakarn Utd
Central Lions 2-1 Rangsit FC
Kasetsart 5-1 Kasem Bundit
Thai Honda 1-0 Luk Esan
Rayong Utd 1-0 Nonthaburi
Krung Thonburi 2-3 R-BEC
Samut Sakhon 4-1 Globex
Bangkok Christian 0-1 Customs Utd
Chamchuri Utd 2-1 North Bangkok

Thai Honda claimed the league title after their 1-0 home win over Luk Esan. Rayong Utd and Kasetsart look set to join Honda in the playoffs as they kept pace with home wins. If either of Rayong Utd or Kasetsart slip up R-BEC and Samut Sakhon will be ready to pounce.The top five in Division 2 all won this weekend.

Toyota League Cup - Last 8 Second Leg
Chonburi (0) v (1) Bangkok Glass (Tuesday)

BG take a slender 1-0 lead to the Chonburi Stadium. Last season away goals counted double, so one goal from the Rabbits could be enough as the Sharks would then need to hit the back of the net three times

International Friendly
Thailand v Laos (Wednesday)

It's understandable that Winfried Schaefer wants to prepare his Thai squad for the forthcoming AFF Suzuki Cup later in the year, but in reality unless a half decent European or South American side is on show, then it's difficult to aspire fans and players at the business end of the season. Laos will provide the opposition at the Supachalasai as Thailand will field a side without any Bangkok Glass or Chonburi players due to their cup tie 24 hours earlier.

EDIT: This game will be played at the Rajamangala and not the Supachalasai as earlier scheduled.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thai Port 0-0 Bangkok Glass

It finished all square at the PAT Stadium as Thai Port and Bangkok Glass drew 0-0.

The main talking point came in the dying minutes as the goal line technology debate reared it's ugly head yet again with Thai Port having what appeared a decent shout for a goal overruled.

Thai Port started off on the offensive with Kiatjaroen's long shot forcing Kritsana into an early save. The resultant corner was the first of many for the hosts which were poorly delivered throughout by the combination of Sivakorn and Kritsada.

BG's best chance of the game came on 25 minutes when Giorgi sprang the offside trap. With a clear angled run in on goal, the Georgian fluffed his chance as his weak shot was blocked by Wanlop's legs.

The second period was mainly dominated by Thai Port although Glass regularly threatened on the counter.

On 70 minutes the Watson and Anusak combination almost broke the deadlock twice within a minute. The first Anusak attempt was turned away by the BG keeper, and from the next play the Muangthong loanee almost nipped in at the near post to score.

As mentioned earlier the controversial moment happened with minutes left on the clock when a Pongpipat free kick from the right was flicked goal bound. Hiek cleared it off the line and whether or not it crossed the line is highly debatable.  Having watched it several times now on the replay, I still can't fathom if a goal should have been awarded. If the referee and linesman can't clearly see it, then they can't give it.

In injury time, Pongpipat hit a stinging drive that was well saved by Kritsana but it wasn't to be for the home side.

Overall Thai Port put in a reasonable performance against a Bangkok Glass side that must have had one eye on Tuesday's league cup tie with Chonburi.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Weekend Preview 8-9 September

Thai Port v Bangkok Glass
Pattaya v Army Utd
Chonburi v Buriram Utd
Police Utd v Osotspa Saraburi
BEC Tero v Chainat

Muangthong Utd v Wuachon Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v BBCU
TTM v Esan Utd
Samut Songkhram v TOT

Many would have anticipated back in March that this Chonburi v Buriram Utd clash would have been billed as a title showdown rather than a tussle for second place. The AFC campaigns have contributed towards tiredness for Buriram and Chonburi, and mix that with some uninspiring foreign signings (in my opinion), then it's evident why the pair are lagging behind Muangthong. This will be the fourth meeting of the season between the duo and a home win would move Chonburi eight points clear of Buriram with eight left to play.
The other Saturday games have a big focus on the relegation dogfight. Chainat will slip unnoticed into the Thephasadin as the newly appointed (insert title) Sven Goran Eriksson will be the focus of the media attention. Nobody will be expecting the Hornbills to win but they could have a surprise up their sleeves for the former Leicester City manager. Last time these pair met it was "the goal that never was" that provided the match talking point.
Police United and Thai Port have home games from which a point would generally be a satisfactory return. However, as we are arriving at the business end of the season, both sides probably need four wins to secure their top flight status and they need to start earning them sooner rather than later. Thai Port will have Worakorn Wichanarong back in the dugout after rumours that he'd been fired were untrue. Apparently he was ill so that's why he missed the Pattaya match last Saturday.
The final match on Saturday is Pattaya v Army. The Dolphins have opened up a nice little five point cushion on BBCU in 16th and will come into this game feeling slightly more at ease. This match will be the last in the sequence of six TPL away games for Army. In the previous five, they've won two, drawn two and only lost one.

On Sunday, Muangthong take on an off color Wuachon who haven't scored in three or won in five TPL outings.
After 25 matches, TTM have only 16 points and with nine left to play, they'll need to double their current points total plus add a cherry on top if they wish to remain in the top division. It will be difficult for TTM against Esan Utd who are unbeaten in six games.
The match between Samut Songkhram and TOT in Mae Klong promises to be a tight one while Chiang Rai Utd will see the visit of BBCU as a chance to reignite their home form after they've failed to find the net during their last two TPL matches at the United Stadium. 

Division 1
Bangkok FC v Ratchaburi
Air Force Utd v FC Phuket
Saraburi v Siam Navy
Sriracha v Krabi
Phatthalung v Chantaburi

Suphanburi v PTT Rayong
Khon Kaen v Songkla
Bangkok Utd v JW Rangsit
Korat v Raj Pracha

This is a pivotal weekend with the four sides currently going for that third promotion spot pitting their wits against each other. Third placed Suphanburi host fourth placed PTT Rayong. Suphanburi have lost their last two home matches, surprisingly one to JW Rangsit in the league and another to BEC Tero in the TLC Cup. PTT Rayong's last six have seen them win four and lose two. Breaking that down their winning ratio is two out of three, and as Meatloaf's lyrics suggest, "two out of three ain't bad."
The Energy's battery has been running low and a loss at Sriracha would almost see them discharge themselves from the promotion race. The Blue Marlins need to bounce back after they were humbled at lowly Saraburi last week.
Second placed Bangkok United should make it ten unbeaten with the visit of JW Rangsit, while Ratchaburi travel to a Bangkok FC side whose only win in their last 10 was against Chantaburi.
While on the subject of Chantaburi, they will officially be relegated to the regional leagues if they lose to Phatthalung. The hound dog has finally caught up with the Hares' Division one status and is about to eat it for dinner.

Division 2 BKK
Assumption Thonburi v Samut Prakarn Utd
Central Lions v Rangsit FC
Kasetsart v Kasem Bundit
Thai Honda v Luk Esan
Rayong Utd v Nonthaburi

Krung Thonburi v R-BEC
Samut Sakhon v Globex
Bangkok Christian v Customs Utd
Chamchuri Utd v North Bangkok

The top three of Thai Honda, Rayong Utd and Kasetsart all have what could be described as home bankers this weekend. Finishing in the top 2 is important as clubs will want to avoid the lottery of a possible play-off to enter the 'real' play-offs. A win for Thai Honda over Luk Esan would confirm them as Division 2 Bangkok champions for 2012.
R-BEC and Samut Sakhon will be ready to pounce should Rayong Utd or Kasetsart fail to collect their win bonus.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday 5 September - TLC & Div 2 Results

Toyota League Cup Last 8 - 1st Leg
Ratchaburi 2-0 Wuachon Utd
Buriram Utd 1-1 BEC Tero
Bangkok Glass 1-0 Chonburi
Muangthong Utd 1-2 TOT

It was a night for the underdog as the pre-game favorites suffered disappointing results.
A 98th minute penalty from Takahiro gave TOT an unexpected half point 2-1 lead over Muangthong. By all accounts, it was a deserved win for the Hello Boys over their near neighbors.
A first half goal by Ajayi was the difference between Bangkok Glass and Chonburi while the Brazilian connection were on hand for Ratchaburi as they sailed into a 2-0 first leg lead over Wuachon.
Sven made his first non-appearance of his tenure as BEC earned a respectable 1-1 draw at Buriram United

Division 2 BKK
R-BEC 4-2 Luk Esan

The Tero junior side kept their promotion bid alive with a 4-2 victory over the Police United youth side, Luk Esan. R-BEC are two points behind third placed Kasetsart with three games left. 

Division 2 North
Chaing Mai FC 1-0 Phrae Utd

Chiang Mai left it late with an 87th minute penalty edging out Phrae United. With three games left to play, the Lanna Tigers can relax now and save their energy for the long drawn out Div 2 Champions League.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wednesday Preview - 5 September

Toyota League Cup Last 8 - 1st Leg
Ratchaburi v Wuachon Utd
Buriram Utd v BEC Tero
Bangkok Glass v Chonburi
Muangthong Utd v TOT

These are the first leg ties of the quarter finals. The second legs were supposed to have been played next week but most have to be rescheduled to accommodate the national teams latest uninspiring friendly.
I suppose that we have to start off by focusing on the Sven hype and the media circus he's created at BEC Tero. The Swede who replaced Robert Pro Kruger (according to some international media sources!!) reportedly won't be involved for this cup tie, yet he should be taking notes as Buriram and BEC have another three meetings in different competitions lined-up in the next few weeks. The former England manager's appointment might inspire a few BEC players but I'll still put my money on Buriram Utd being victorious.
The Sharks have gotten back to winning ways after a sticky patch and might fancy that they've got enough in their tank to beat BG despite having a tight schedule in September. Glass did put Chonburi out of this cup two years ago and then lost to Siam Navy in the next round. The previous sentence pretty much sums up the inconsistentcy of the Pathumthani club.
The tie between Ratchaburi and Wuachon is too close to call. The TPL bound Dragons have lost their last two while Wuachon haven't looked the same side since a couple of their loanees returned to their parent clubs.
Normally you stick your mortgage on Muangthong beating TOT over two legs, but with several fringe players set to start for the 'Thong, TOT might have a sniff of a chance. 

Division 2 BKK
R-BEC v Luk Esan

This match has been rescheduled after it was abandoned last month. Nothing less than three points will do for R-BEC as they bid to close the five point gap to third placed Kasetsart.

Division 2 North
Chaing Mai FC v Phrae Utd

With a top three finish already guaranteed my calculator says that Chaing Mai will be crowned champions of Division 2 North if they beat Phrae Utd. A win would open up a nine point gap over NSRU with three to play and the Lanna Tigers would win the league due to having a superior head to head record over the Nakhon Sawan club.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Weekend Review 1-2 September

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

Muangthong claimed another important scalp as they beat Bangkok Glass 2-1 at the Leo Stadium. Teerasil was yet again on the scoresheet for MTU as he scored the opening goal. Muangthong remain 10 points clear of Chonburi who comfortably won at Chainat 3-0. Sukree chipped in with a second half double after Suttinan had given the Sharks a first half lead. Chainat's Sumet was dismissed for a cowardly stamp on Pipob after they striker had been felled.

The alarm bells are blaring at the PAT after Thai Port lost 4-2 at home to Pattaya United. The boys from Klong Toei were extremely charitable at the back as the clinical Pattaya attack gratefully accepted their donations.
Port remain just above the drop zone as BBCU and Police could only draw. The game at the Rajamangala ended 0-0 between BBCU and Osotspa while I'm guessing that Police United would have been reasonably satisfied with their point at managerless BEC Tero. The Pathumthani side twice came from behind levelling with goals from Tana and Daniel Cortes.
TTM remain rooted to the bottom with a 1-0 loss at Buriram Utd. By all accounts, Buriram weren't firing on all cylinders, yet despite Theeratorn missing a penalty they did enough to edge out TTM 1-0. The sloppy nature of the Buriram goal highlights why TTM will almost certainly be in Division 1 next season.

The 39 seconds clip on Siam Sport suggests it was a 0-0 borefest between Samut Songkhram and Chaing Rai Utd, while Wuachon v TOT ended with the same outcome. Kim Tae Young and Diego Gaston were the scorers as Esan Utd drew 1-1 with Army Utd.

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

Ratchaburi suffered their first home defeat of the season with a 2-1 loss to in form Bangkok United. It appeared to be business as usual for the Dragons when Abbo gave them a 5th minute lead. Whatever Sasom said at half time obviously worked as United were 2-1 up within ten minutes of the restart courtesy of a Paul Ekollo brace. The Angels held on to claim second spot and sit a half dozen points behind Ratchaburi.
The other two Sunday games in the south both ended 0-0 between Phatthalung v Suphanburi and Krabi v Songkla. Suphanburi dropped to third while Krabi are three points and places behind the Warriors in sixth.

The Blue Marlins good run came to a shuddering halt after they were sent packing at 3-0 at Saraburi while PTT Rayong had to play the patience card before they eventually saw off Bangkok FC to move back into 4th place.

The basement battle went the way of Raj Pracha as they earned their first away win this season. Raj claimed a late winner to beat 10 man Chantaburi 3-2. The Crowns are now nine points from safety with nine to play while Chantaburi could officially be relegated next weekend depending on how the results pan out.

Division 2 BKK
Rangsit FC 2-1 Samut Sakhon
Kasem Bundit 1-2 Chamchuri Utd
Customs Utd 1-1 Central Lions
Luk Esan 0-1 Rayong Utd
R-BEC 0-1 Thai Honda
Nonthaburi 1-3 Assumption Thonburi
North Bangkok 5-1 Bangkok Christian
Globex 0-0 Kasetsart
Samut Prakarn Utd 2-0 Krung Thonburi

Thai Honda can breath a sigh of relief after they booked a play off berth after their 1-0 win at R-BEC. A second half long distance free kick which appeared to touch nobody on the way through to goal was the difference as R-BEC virtually kissed their promotion hopes goodbye.
Rayong Utd look odds-on to join Honda in the end of season competition while stuttering Kasetsart in third have the points in the bag which should just about see them over the finishing line.
At the bottom, if there is to be relegation as has been rumoured for months now, then it's time to bid farewell to Nonthaburi and Central Lions.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thai Port 2-4 Pattaya United

Three goals in the first thirty minutes won the game for Pattaya as they eventually ran out 4-2 winners over a defensively inadequate Thai Port.

The first of the Dolphins three early strikes came on 8 minutes when Rangsarit trundled a free kick under the jumping Thai Port wall past an unsuspecting Wanlop. From where I was positioned, it looked like Rangsarit mishit his free kick although I'm sure he'll claim that he practices placing the ball under the wall regularly in training.

Port had a couple of chances at the other end with Robb forcing Narat into a save, yet it was the guests who doubled their lead on 26 minutes. Good link up play in the midfield was followed up with a precise square pass from Dyachenko to find Keisuke Ogawa on the edge of the box. The Jap's left footed shot found the large gap created by an out of position Wanlop at the left hand post.

Within three minutes it was virtually game set and match as Ludo easily brushed off a beleaguered Termchai to race through on goal to make it 3-0 to Pattaya. That goal was the cue for some of the Klong Toei locals to head for the exits.

The home side had been making chances and they gave themselves a glimmer of daylight shortly before the break when Anusak pulled one back after being set up by a neat move involving Watson and Kiatjareon.

Pattaya wasted a guilt edged chance following another breakaway shortly after the interval and there were no takers for TP as Ruella's low cross raced across the front of the goal.

Just after the hour, it was squeaky bum time for the Dolphins as Thai Port reduced the deficit to one goal. A inswinging cross from Kritsada curled in at the back post past the stationary Narat. I can only assume that the incoming Anusak distracted the big keeper. On watching the replay of the goal, it really has to goal down as a goalkeeping mistake.

After that, Sarawut headed wide and Kritsada's shot hit the side netting as TP pressed for a dramatic equalizer.

The momentum was with the home side, but their comeback was dealt a blow on 73 minutes when Pattaya netted again to effectively end the contest. A slip by Mario da Silva allowed the impressive Dyanchenko to skip past him. The Russian then set up Ludo who neatly sidestepped Kiatjareon before calmly slotting in the bottom corner.

That was it as far as they goalscoring went as Pattaya held out comfortably to claim a valuable three points. Thai Port remain just above the bottom three, but with fixtures against BG (H), Buriram Utd (A) and BEC Tero (A) on the horizon, it's doubtful they'll be in that position for much longer.

Thai Port were managerless for this game and on today's evidence the first thing the new appointment will need to do is to sort out the defence. From a defensive point of view all four goals were preventable. Another thing that's needs to be addressed are the incessant flicks and tricks performed by Port attackers. Ludo and Dyachenko kept it simple for Pattaya and the rewards were greater for the Dolphins despite the fact that they had far less attempts on goal.