Thursday, November 8, 2012

Weekend Preview 10-11 November & International Friendly Result

Toyota League Cup Final (Saturday, Thammasart University, 5.45pm)
Buriram Utd v Ratchaburi

Buriram United will start as strong favorites to retain the trophy that they won last season, and complete the domestic cup clean sweep for the second consecutive year.
In the three seasons since the introduction of the Toyota League Cup, Buriram have only tasted defeat once which was back in 2010 to Thai Port in the final.
The Thunder Castle have saved their best form for the cups this season after floundering to fourth in a disappointing league campaign. Osmar Barba and Goran Jerkovic have been the shining beacons that have stood out in Buriram's cup runs.

Ratchaburi on the other hand, won the first division title in their maiden season after being promoted from the regional leagues in 2011. On the way to this final, the Dragons have taken the TPL scalps of Pattaya United, Wuachon United and TOT. Unfortunately, they won't be able to call on any player of theirs with any Buriram connections for this big occasion. In the FA Cup tie between the two finalists, Ratchaburi faced the same predicament and were trounced 7-1 on the night. From a neutrals point of view, let's hope Ratchaburi put up a better fight this time to make it a competitive spectacle.

Division 2 Playoffs
(Group A - Sunday)
Roi Et Utd v Pattani
Rayong Utd v Ayutthaya
Phitsanulok v Paknampo NSRU

As Group A has reached the halfway stage, the big question appears to be who'll be joining Ayutthaya in Division one next season. With a seven point cushion over third placed Roi Et Utd, it would take a catastrophic implosion for Ayutthaya not to be promoted. They travel to Rayong United who are incidentally the only side to take a point of Ayutthaya. That draw came back on the opening round of fixtures.
The story of this group for the rest has been too many drawn matches with Roi Et and Pattani amassing 7 out of a possible 10 between them. The pair clash on Sunday and as we enter the business end of the playoffs, these draws need to be turned into wins.
For bottom side Phitsanulok, they need to win all five of their remaining games and hope results go in their favour. Anything other than three points against second placed NSRU would be the end of Phitsanulok's season. NSRU on the other hand, will see this as a great opportunity for their first away win. 

(Group B - Saturday)
Trang v Trat
Sisaket Utd v Thai Honda
Chiang Mai FC v Rayong FC

On Tuesday it was announced that the Chiang Mai v Trat game from last Saturday would be replayed after the referee controversially allowed a late Trat equalizer to stand despite the fact that there were still Chiang Mai players off the park celebrating a goal they'd scored moments earlier.
Regardless of what happens in that replay, Chiang Mai need to concentrate on the task on hand this weekend as they host Rayong FC who have lost two out of their last three matches.
Trat were clearly unhappy with the decision to replay the game and will be brooding as they make the long trip to Trang. The Dugons won their first match last weekend and another win would keep their slim promotion hopes alive.
Back on Day 1, Thai Honda comfortably beat Sisaket Utd 2-0. Since then the fortunes of both have been polar opposites with Honda losing four on the trot while SU have won three and drawn one on their way to claiming the top berth. The visit of Thai Honda sees the Esan club play their second of three consecutive home games. On current form this match seems like a home banker!

International Friendly Result
Thailand 2-0 Malaysia

Thailand began their first of three warm-up matches for the AFF Cup with a 2-0 win over Malaysia. The result would have pleased Winfried Schafer despite the guests offering very little. The game was tough on the eye for the sparse crowd at the SCG Stadium with fouls and misplaced passes littering the contest.
Debutaunt, Prayat Bunya, headed the only goal of a scrappy first half and Arthit's long range strike with ten minutes left wrapped up the friendly win for the Thais. Adul was dismissed on 72 minutes for receiving two yellows within the space of three minutes and he was joined for an early bath when Malaysia's Abdul Rasak was ordered off shortly before full time.

Winnie Schafer will know his side still needs to improve before the competition begins on 24th November in spite of the encouraging 2-0 scoreline. The German still has his star pair of Teerasil and Datsakorn to return to the fold, plus a couple of the available Buriram United players who should return after the League Cup final. Next up is another friendly against Bhutan next Wednesday.

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