Thursday, May 30, 2013

Midweek Results & Matchday 14 Preview

TPL Results
Army Utd 3-2 Chiang Rai Utd
Bangkok Utd 3-2 Chainat
BEC Tero 3-2 Police Utd
Chonburi 1-4 Buriram Utd
Osotspa Saraburi 2-1 Samut Songkhram
Pattaya Utd P-P Sisaket
Ratchaburi 0-1 Songkhla Utd
Suphanburi 3-1 Muangthong Utd
TOT 1-1 Bangkok Glass

Saturday Fixtures
Bangkok Glass v Suphanburi
Chainat v TOT
Police Utd v Army Utd
Samut Songkhram v BEC Tero

Buriram Utd v Ratchaburi
Chiang Rai Utd v Chonburi
Muangthong v Osotspa Saraburi
Sisaket P-P Bangkok Utd
Songkhla Utd v Pattaya Utd

Muangthong United and Buriram United both have home games that you'd expect them to win so it's unlikely there will be any change at the top. Buriram closed to within one point of leaders Muangthong on Wednesday after their 4-1 triumph at Chonburi. Muangthong finished with only nine players in their 3-1 defeat at Suphanburi and could be overtaken by the Thunder Castle if they win their game in hand.

Bangkok Glass and Suphanburi are both in a rich vein of form and their clash on Saturday evening looks the pick off day. Elsewhere on this day, BEC Tero will see their trip to Samut Songkhram as a chance for three points while Chainat v TOT and Police v Army could well be draws.

Chonburi won't have time to lick their midweek wounds as they make the long trip up to Chiang Rai. Things in the Chiang Rai Utd camp are far from rosy with home fans continuing to vent their disapproval towards their coach.

In the final game, Songkhla will start as strong favorites when they welcome second bottom Pattaya United.

Division 1 Results
Air Force 1-0 BBCU
Ayutthaya 1-0 Rayong Utd
Bangkok FC 7-3 Khon Kaen
Nakhon Pathom Utd 2-1 Sriracha
Nakhon Ratchasima 2-2 Singh Tarua
Phuket 2-0 Krabi
PTT Rayong 3-0 Rayong FC
Siam Navy 0-1 TTM
Trat 2-1 Saraburi

Saturday Fixtures
Khon Kaen v TTM
Rayong FC v Nakhon Ratchasima
Singh Tarua v Bangkok FC

BBCU v Ayutthaya
Krabi v PTT Rayong
Rayong Utd v Trat
Saraburi v Phuket
Siam Navy v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Sriracha v Air Force

Midweek home wins saw Air Force, PTT Rayong and Bangkok FC strengthen their position at the top. This Sunday, Air Force will be looking for their 8th successive win when they travel to an off-colour Sriracha while PTT Rayong have a slightly more difficult task in Krabi.
Times have changed for both Singh Tarua and Bangkok FC since their last meeting back in the Toyota League Cup in 2010. Thai Port as they were known back then, beat Bangkok FC 4-3 on aggregate as they went on to lift the cup. Bangkok FC were a regional league side three years ago while Thai Port were a Top 4 TPL team that progressed to the quarter finals of the AFC Cup. This Saturday, Bangkok FC will start the game in a higher position in the Division 1 table and arguably favorites to collect three points. The Bulligans scored seven against Khon Kaen on Wednesday to ensure they finished the month of May unbeaten.

A depleted Singh Tarua would have been satisfied with a point at Nakhon Ratchasima in midweek, although the Swatcats would have seen this as a missed opportunity for three points considering they were leading for the second consecutive game with minutes left on the clock. On Saturday Korat will expect to extend their unbeaten run to eight at Rayong FC, but for the fans their trip to Rayong FC will bring back unhappy memories of their last visit when they were attacked by Rayong thugs at the end of the match.

Things are looking bright for TTM after their midweek win at Siam Navy hoisted them out of the danger zone. Off the field, negotiations to finally move the club to Lopburi for Leg 2 have been positive and the vagabond club could soon have a permanent home.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chonburi 1-4 Buriram United

Buriram United made it a two horse race with Muangthong United for the TPL title after a convincing 4-1 win at Chonburi. Buriram's joy at beating Chonburi would have been doubled when they found out that nine-man table leaders Muangthong had lost 3-1 at Suphanburi.

The opening exchanges in this contest were rather cagey with neither side committing too many men forward.

On 25 minutes the breakthrough was made when a Theerethon free kick wasn't dealt with by Sinthaweechai and Tanasak took advantage of the error to knock the ball in from close range.

Adul could have equalized a few minutes later, but fired over the bar from the edge of the box after Pipob had set him up. 

In first half stoppage time, Chonburi thought they'd levelled when Thiago netted via a parried save by Sivaruk. However, the Malaysian officials thought otherwise and the goal was ruled out for offside which meant the Thunder Castle went in 1-0 to the good at half time.

Eight minutes after the interval, Adul was teed up again at the edge of the box, but this time he sliced his shot wide.

One minute later though, Buriram made it 2-0. Kai Hirano found acres of space behind the Chonburi right back, and his cross into the box was dummied by Carmelo which left the unmarked Javier Patino the simple task of side-footing home.

Thiago blazed over the bar and Pipob couldn't connect to a low cross from Kushida as the hosts tried to get quickly back into the game.

Pipob again had a glorious chance for a goal in the 75th minute, but he headed wide from inside the six yard box.

Three minutes later, the game appeared to be over when Ekkachai hit a Carmelo cutback into the roof of the net.

Chonburi could have given up, but moments later a Pipob back heeler was ruled out for offside despite it looking suspiciously onside.

Nonetheless, with nine minutes left on the clock, Narul fired home a long ball from Diakite to reduce the deficit to 3-1.

In injury time, a quickly taken free kick caught the Chonburi defence napping and Carmelo Gonzalez made it 4-1.

The win for Buriram moved them six points clear of the Sharks and with Muangthong's loss at Suphanburi, it reduced the gap at the top to only one point.

Man of the Match: Osmar Ibanez - Best defender in the TPL

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday 26 May Review


Bangkok Glass 3-1 Bangkok Utd
Buriram Utd 3-0 Army Utd
Chainat 4-2 Pattaya Utd
Muangthong Utd 2-1 Samut Songkhram
Suphanburi 3-1 TOT

There were five home wins on Sunday and plenty of goals to excite the fans of the TPL. Muangthong are still huffing and puffing, yet they are still claiming wins. Their 2-1 home win over struggling Samut Songkhram was far from convincing with the away side playing the last 30 minutes with 10 men. Pichitpong and Sarawut were on target for MTU before Guy Hubert scored a spectacular injury time consolation.

Second placed Buriram on the other hand, had a slightly easier afternoon as they beat Army United 3-0. First half goals from Carmelo and Osmar sent the Thunder Castle on their way before a second half own goal wrapped up the points.

Back to back wins have seen Suphanburi climb back to fourth spot. A goal from Bireme Diuof and two from Wuttichai had the game won before Lee Jun Ki grabbed a late consolation goal for TOT. 

It was a similar sequence of scoring at Bangkok Glass as the Glass Rabbits secured their third straight win. Chatree scored with two headers and a rasping strike from Ekkaphan had BG 3-0 up before Romain Gasmi pulled one back for Bangkok United in injury time.

Pattaya United remain deep in trouble with a 4-2 defeat at Chainat. The Dolphins have now lost 10 of their 12 games and conceded 27 goals in that time. The win for Chainat has lifted them up to sixth place

Division 1

Khon Kaen 1-1 Nakhon Ratchasima
Rayong FC 3-1 Krabi
Saraburi 2-1 Ayutthaya
Singh Tarua 0-1 PTT Rayong

Rayong FC finally broke their duck with a 3-1 win over the inconsistent Krabi. A 19th minute Kun Sik Choi goal set the Wild Horses on their way before a deflected Alongkorn free kick doubled that advantage 10  minutes later. The win was secured just after the hour when Suriyakan headed home from a corner. The only blot on the day for Rayong was Krabi's injury time goal which meant there was to be no clean sheet.

A large travelling support from Nakhon Ratchasima were denied seeing their favorites win when Sarawut levelled for the T-Rex four minutes from time. Yusuke Kato had earlier given the Swatcats the lead but their cause wasn't helped when Ponlawat was given a second yellow card for a hot-headed hack 20 minutes from time.

Saraburi's 2-1 win over local rivals Ayutthaya moved them into the top half of the table. Bernard Henry nodded the Warlords in front before Valery Djomon capitalized on some slack defending to increase the lead. Antonio Vega pulled a late goal back but it was too late for Ayutthaya.

As reported earlier, PTT Rayong moved four points clear of Singh Tarua in fourth after their 1-0 win at the PAT Stadium.

Wednesday Fixtures

There is a full card of fixtures in both divisions this Wednesday.

Army Utd v Chiang Rai Utd
Bangkok Utd v Chainat
BEC Tero v Police Utd
Chonburi v Buriram Utd
Osotspa Saraburi v Samut Songkhram
Pattaya Utd v Sisaket
Ratchaburi v Songkhla Utd
Suphanburi v Muangthong Utd
TOT v Bangkok Glass

Division 1
Air Force v BBCU
Ayutthaya v Rayong Utd
Bangkok FC v Khon Kaen
Nakhon Pathom Utd v Sriracha
Nakhon Ratchasima v Singh Tarua
Phuket v Krabi
PTT Rayong v Rayong FC
Siam Navy v TTM
Trat v Saraburi

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Singh Tarua 0-1 PTT Rayong

Amadou Outtara's goal 17 minutes from time earned PTT Rayong a vital three points as they beat Singh Tarua 1-0.

The hosts came close to taking the lead twice within the opening few minutes. First, a Leandro free kick hit the underside of the bar and then the ball spun fortunately off the unexpecting Ukrit for a corner. From the resultant corner kick, the keeper had to be alert to block a Christen shot from close in.

The next 35 minutes became a bit tetchy with with neither keeper really being worked.

As half time approached, Ukrit made a sublime one handed save from an Ali Diarra header to ensure the Oil Millionaires went in level at the break.

Ukrit didn't appear for the second half and was replaced by former Army keeper Watcharapong.

The early stages of the second half flowed from end to end with the midfield of both sides generally being bypassed.

Leandro had a low headed effort blocked on the line while Ri Myong Jun and Kiatjareon fired shots narrowly over the bar for the Khlong Toei side

PTT on the other hand, came close through substitute Kirati's glancing header and Adisak could have shown more composure as he blasted a shot across the face of the goal.

The all important winning goal came in the 73rd minute as PTT Rayong countered following a Tarua corner. It was four attackers on one defender as Kirati set up Amadou Outtara to roll the ball past Suphawat into the bottom corner.

Singh Tarua pressed for an equalizer and the closest they came was in the dying moments when a Leandro header bounced off the top of the bar and over.

It wasn't to be as PTT held on for three points. I wasn't overly impressed with them in the first half, but as they game went on they seemed to improve. They remind me a bit of Suphanburi last season in that they aren't overly exciting to watch, yet they get the job done.

For Singh Tarua, they have a massive week coming up with Korat away on Wednesday and Bangkok FC at home on Saturday. They have only collected eight points from their last eight games and they need to get their promotion train back on track.

Saturday 25 May Review


Chiang Rai Utd 0-3 BEC Tero
Police Utd 1-1 Osotspa Saraburi
Sisaket P-P Ratchaburi
Songkhla Utd 1-1 Chonburi

Disgruntled Chiang Rai United fans turned on their own coach again after they were humbled 3-0 at home by BEC Tero. A certain percentage of them even cheered when Witchaya scored Tero's third with seven minutes left on the clock. Before that, Cleiton Silva had given BEC Tero a first half lead and Sho Shimoji pounced on a goalkeeping spill to double that advantage. That 3-0 win move BEC Tero up to fourth while CRU remain fourth from bottom.

A Thiagoless Chonburi couldn't find enough in reserve as they had to settle for a point in Songkhla. Elvis Job scored from close range to give Songkhla a 35th minute lead, but a chipped effort from Irfan Bachdim levelled a few minutes later.

It also finished 1-1 at the Thammasart with Sompat salvaging a point for Police Utd right at the death. Lazarus Kaimbi had given Osotspa the lead in first half injury time, but the Saraburi side couldn't hold out to claim their first win in seven outings.

Division 1

Air Force 2-1 Rayong Utd
BBCU 1-1 Nakhon Pathom Utd
Siam Navy 2-2 Bangkok FC
Sriracha 1-1 TTM
Trat 3-3 Phuket

Air Force increased their lead at the top to six points with a 2-1 victory over a Rayong United side that finished the game with 9 men.
Nakhon Pathom United also finished their match with two players less of their initial compliment, yet they managed to grab a point at a faltering BBCU. Camera Souleymane gave NP and early lead with Marcio levelling in first half stoppage time. The Big Bang's misery was complete when top scorer Pichit's second half penalty bounced back off the post. Disappointingly, there were a couple of unsavory incidents to note in this contest. First, it was shameful to observe BBCU's Khitiphop rolling in agony on the ground before suddenly jumping to his feet grinning once his opponent had been red carded. And then, watching Nakhon Pathom's Thanawan remove his shirt to tear into the referee after he had correctly dismissed him for headbutting Marcio. Thai football could certainly do without these couple of characters in their game.

Olof Watson returned to his former stamping ground in Sattahip and netted two off the easiest goals he'll ever score. Siam Navy replied with a couple of spectacular goals as it finished 2-2 between themselves and Bangkok FC.
Holding on to 2-0 leads doesn't seem to be Phuket's strong point as they blew a two goal advantage for the second consecutive weekend. Trat hit the Islanders with a three goal ten minute second half blitz before Giorgi Tsimakuridze grabbed a late equalizer for Phuket.
The points were shared in front of 791 spectators as relegation rivals Sriracha and TTM drew 1-1.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Air Force 2-1 Rayong United

Thupathemi Stadium
Air Force beat 9 man Rayong United to claim their sixth straight win and their fifth consecutive 2-1 victory.

The current Division 1 leaders appeared to be heading for a comfortable home win with two goals scored in the first 30 minutes.

The first came midway through the first half when a short corner was crossed into the box for Supphakorn to nod home after the Rayong Utd defence failed to clear the initial danger.

On the half hour, a ball cut in from the left by Julius Oiboh was knocked into his own net by Pasawee.

The away side's best effort of the half came five minutes before the break when Cunningham scooped out a goal bound Valci Junior header on the goal line.

The second half was on the verge of dying a death until the introduction of David le Bras from the Rayong Utd bench shortly after the hour.

Within a minute, the broody Frenchman had split the Air Force central defence with a precise ball to set up Wuttiphan to pull one back.

The Elephant Warrior's fight back was on and Valci Junior twice brought out good saves from Samuel Cunningham as the home side nervously held on to their slender lead.

In the 80th minute, Rayong United were reduced to ten men when Chatchai received a second yellow card.

That seemed to take the impetus out of the guests, and as full time was approaching they were effectively knocked out as Wittaya was given a straight red for a hack at Kouassi Hermann.

The Airmen's victory saw them move six points clear at the top and despite not looking entirely convincing, they have a healthy lead at to kick on and claim a TPL spot.

Rayong United need to improve at the back as they conceded a couple of sloppy goals today. With Valci Junior in the side, they always look like scoring and keeping the Brazilian fit will be vital to their survival bid.

Man of the Match: Valci Junior - a constant threat

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Matchday 12 Preview


Chiang Rai Utd v BEC Tero
Police Utd v Osotspa Saraburi
Sisaket P-P Ratchaburi
Songkhla Utd v Chonburi

Bangkok Glass v Bangkok Utd
Buriram Utd v Army Utd
Chainat v Pattaya Utd
Muangthong Utd v Samut Songkhram
Suphanburi v TOT

A quick glance at the league table shows you that there is a three-way split in the TPL. Chasing the title there is Muangthong, Buriram and Chonburi. Between Suphanburi in fourth and Songkhla Utd in tenth are the sides whose target will to finish in the Top 6. The sides between 11th and 18th have been cut adrift with a few unexpected clubs floundering in the lower reaches of the rankings.

Osotspa Saraburi and Police United got off to reasonable starts, but recent poor runs have seen the duo slip towards the relegation zone. Police haven't won for six matches while Osotspa's sequence is one worse with seven. The pair meet at the Thammasart on Saturday hoping to regain that winning feeling.

Out of the Top 3, Chonburi have the most difficult task making the long journey south to Songkhla. Buriram could be suffering a bit of fatigue after their ACL exertions against Bunyodkor, but will still be expected to beat Army while the same outcome will be anticipated of Muangthong when they host Samut Songkhram.

Chaing Rai United claimed their first win last weekend in Saraburi and their opponents this Saturday will be hoping that new coach Rene Desaeyere gets his first win in the Tero hot seat after his first two attempts have ended in draws.

The remaining three Sunday matches have on-form Bangkok Glass hosting struggling Bangkok United while Chainat will start as favorites to beat Pattaya United. Suphanburi bounced back to winning ways last time out while their opponents TOT looked slightly toothless as they tried to claw back the game against 10 man Muangthong United.

Division 1

Air Force v Rayong Utd
BBCU v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Siam Navy v Bangkok FC
Sriracha v TTM
Trat v Phuket

Khon Kaen v Nakhon Ratchasima
Rayong FC v Krabi
Saraburi v Ayutthaya
Singh Tarua v PTT Rayong

No matter what happens this weekend, Air Force will still top the first division come 8pm on Sunday evening. The current leaders have won five in a row with the last four ending in 2-1 victories. Their opponents this Saturday have dropped into trouble with only two points collected out of their last 18. This match was supposed to be a home game for Rayong United but was switched to the Thupathemi for what should be a home banker.

The other two form teams in the league at the moment are Bangkok FC and Nakhon Ratchasima. Three consecutive wins have moved the Bulligans up to third and they travel to Sattahip to meet a Siam Navy team who have picked up every one of their 11 points on home turf.
Nakhon Ratchasima's 5-0 demolishing of Siam Navy last week made it five without defeat and moved them up to sixth spot. They travel to their Esan neighbors Khon Kaen who themselves are unbeaten in four.

The clash between Singh Tarua and PTT Rayong on Sunday will have most bearing at the top with fourth hosting second. Singh Tarua won their first four games but have only collected eight points from their last seven while PTT Rayong may still be unbeaten, but three draws from their last four have seen them overtaken by Air Force at the top.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday 19 May Review


Army 1-1 Songkhla Utd
Chonburi P-P Sisaket
Osotspa Saraburi 0-1 Chiang Rai Utd
Samut Songkhram 2-1 Police Utd

Samut Songkhram and Chiang Rai United finally claimed their first victories of the season. Rather surprisingly, Samut Songkhram's 2-1 home win over Police United was the only home win in the TPL this weekend. It looked like it was going to be another tough day at the office when Surachart gave Police a 12th minute lead. However, two Guy Hubert headers either side of the interval turned the tide to help Samut Songkhram win 2-1.
Chiang Rai Utd were grateful for a Jessada own goal as they claimed they're first victory of the season with a 1-0 success in Saraburi.
In the other TPL match yesterday the points were shared between Army and Songkhla United.Aron da Silva gave the guests the lead on the hour before Danny Invincibile raced through to rescue a point for Army.

Division 1

Ayutthaya 2-2 Trat
Nakhon Pathon Utd 5-2 Rayong Utd
Nakhon Ratchasima 5-0 Siam Navy

Similar to the two sides in the TPL, TTM finally secured their first win of the season. Their hero of the day was Didier Sohna who scored twice in the first half after Marcio had given Big Bang CU and early lead. BBCU have gone off the rails in the last couple of games and they are crying out for the return of Bouba Abbo.
The Nakhons both hit five at home to edge themselves further up the table. Fans favourite Prompong returned to bag a hat-trick for the Swatcats while Camara Souleymane went one better scoring four in Nakhon Pathom's 5-2 victory over struggling Rayong United. Nakhon Ratchasima move to within four points of the promotion placings.
In Ayutthaya, a late Chang Seung Weon goal snatched a point for Ayutthaya against Trat. All four goals in the 2-2 draw were scored by foreigners. Justin Herve joined his Korean counterpart on the score sheet while Trat's goals came from Almamy Sylla and Labi Kassiaty.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Osotspa Saraburi 0-1 Chiang Rai Utd

A first half Jessada Puanakunmee own goal separated the sides as Chiang Rai United won 1-0.

It wasn't a particularly pretty performance from the Fighting Beetles, but Stefano Cuggura won't be caring as his side grabbed their first league victory of the season.

Chiang Rai's Thanongsak was the first keeper to be called into action on 12 minutes when he had to get down quickly to tip a Anthony Komenan shot around the post. From the resultant corner, Komenan's angled header flew inches over the bar.

The former BEC Tero keeper then had to throw his body in front of a low Narong free kick from the left midway through the first half.

In the other goal, Chatchai had been a virtual spectator in the opening stages, yet he was picking the ball out of his net on 28 minutes. A through ball from Nantawat was being chased down by Leandro Assumpcao and Jessada. In a panic, Jetsada's bid to clear saw him chip the ball over the unsuspecting Chatchai for Chiang Rai to take the lead against the run of play.

A minute before the break, a free header from Komenan was knocked around the post by the CRU keeper as the guests took a 1-0 lead into the break.

The M-Power came out in the second half chasing an equalizer but the quality of their final ball into the box was lacking. Chiang Rai Utd were quite happy to sit back and attack on the counter.

On 69 minutes, Uilian had a great chance to double Chiang Rai's lead. The Brazilian was through on goal but he weakly side footed his effort straight into Chatchai's body.

Shortly afterwards, the home fans frustration boiled over as they started throwing missiles onto the pitch after a touchline clash involving home favorite Panuwat and the villain of the piece, Nantawat.

Chiang Rai defended resolutely to see the game out for a 2-1 win although if truth being told, the Osotspa attack would have struggled to burst their way out of a wet chip poke.

The win moves Chiang Rai onto eight points which is only one behind Osotspa. The Saraburi club's poor run of results is slowly sucking them into an unexpected relegation battle.

Man of the Match: Tanongsak Panpipat - His early saves kept CRU in the contest

Saturday 18 May Review


Bangkok Utd 1-2 Suphanburi
Pattaya Utd 1-2 Bangkok Glass
Ratchaburi 2-3 Chainat
TOT 1-2 Muangthong Utd

Yesterday saw a first in Thai football with a player being ordered off for removing his shorts and putting them on his head after he'd scored a goal. The man at the centre of the incident was Mario Djurovski. His goal in the 35th minute had given Muangthong a 2-0 lead after Datsakorn had earlier scored one of his free kick specials. Djurovski's surprised reaction after the referee had produced the second yellow card was almost as amusing as seeing him wearing underpants and pretending to fire a machine gun at his own fans.
Lee Jun Ki did pull a goal back before half time for TOT, but there was no second half fight back as MTU comfortably held out to increase their lead at the top to four points.

Incidentally, the four games yesterday saw four away wins. Michael Byrne hit the decisive goal 16 minutes from time to give Chainat a 3-2 victory in their first ever league meeting with Ratchaburi.

Bangkok United and Pattaya United both remain in deep trouble with the pair suffering 2-1 home losses. Dragan Boskovic gave Suphanburi an early but that was soon cancelled out by a Romain Gasmi header. Wuttichai scored from close range to restore the lead for Suphanburi as they held out for their first win in six outings.
It was the same sequence of scoring in Nong Prue with Suphasek netting for Glass near the half hour mark. Dyachenko did pull one back for the Dolphins before the interval, but a Peerapong free kick wrapped up the points for Bangkok Glass. That victory lifts BG into the top half of the table for the first time this season

Division 1

Air Force Utd 2-1 Saraburi
Bangkok FC 3-1 Sriracha
Krabi 1-0 Singh Tarua
Phuket 2-2 Rayong FC
PTT Rayong 0-0 Khon Kaen

Air Force United increased their lead at the top to four points after a 2-1 home win over Saraburi. Kouassi Hermann and Santipap were on target for the Airmen in a fiery game which produced 10 yellow cards.
PTT remain second on goal difference but they'll be slightly concerned that they could only draw 0-0 at home to Khon Kaen.
Three wins on the trot have moved Bangkok FC into third. They staged a second half come back to see off Sriracha 3-1. Lee Tuck was yet again on the score sheet along with Tawin and Yuki Bamba.
Krabi had to be patient before Aran headed a 90th minute winner to send the Energy home happy. The 1-0 loss ended Singh Tarua's four match unbeaten run as they dropped to fourth.
Elsewhere in the south, Phuket squandered a two goal advantage at home to Rayong FC. Doumeng netted from the spot before Giorgi doubled that advantage for the Islanders shortly after the break. Walther pulled a goal back for the Wild Horses and in the 93rd minute, Nuttawut grabbed an unlikely equalizer. Despite claiming a late point, Rayong FC remain five points from safety.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

BEC Tero 1-1 Buriram United

BEC Tero and Buriram shared the spoils as they drew 1-1 at the 72nd Anniversary Stadium. 

Buriram had a great chance to take the lead on five minutes after Patino gained possession following sloppy play by Nattaporn. However, the Filipino international hurried his chip from the edge of the box and it sailed over the bar with Sujin in the Tero goal stranded in no man's land.

Five minutes later though, the guests did take the lead following more unconvincing BEC defending. A trademark Theerathon free kick was whipped into the box to Carmelo at the back post who was left with the simple task of knocking the ball into the empty net.

The Fire Dragons first shot of note came in the 23rd minute when Sivaruk saved smartly from a Cleiton Silva volley.

Two minutes later Sho Shimoji had the ball in the net for the home side but it was ruled offside. TV evidence showed that the Uzbek linesman called it wrongly as the Japanese player was clearly onside.

The pressure was mounting from Tero and moments later Sivaruk did just enough to knock a dipping shot from Tanaboon wide of the post.

Buriram did eventually weather the mini-storm from the hosts as the half ended with the Thunder Castle leading 1-0.

The first chance after the break came on 54 minutes with Patino flicking a Jirawat free kick inches past the post.

Three minutes later, BEC Tero levelled when a shot from just outside the box by substitute Chanatip took a slight deflection off Osmar and spun over Sivaruk into the net.

Ekkachai could have quickly restored the lead for Buriram but his left footed effort from a tight angle missed the target while Carmelo from a similar position blazed over.

Sarif almost made an instant impact for the hosts when he was introduced midway through the second half, but he hit a free header into the ground and over the bar following a cross from the left.

With 13 minutes left, Buriram were reduced to 10 men after Suchao was given a second yellow following a collision with an advancing opponent.

In the closing stages both sides had a couple of half chances, but at the end a 1-1 draw was a fair result. Buriram will probably be happy with the point considering they've played two games in 48 hours and that they finished the game with 10 men. Yet at the same time, they'll be disappointed that they couldn't get that win to climb above Muangthong to the top of the league.

BEC Tero move up to 5th, but lag six points behind Chonburi in 3rd. The target of new coach Rena Desaeyere will be to close that gap, but finishing 4th seems to be their realistic destination at this moment in time.

Toyota League Cup Draw Last 16

Rayong FC v Police Utd
PTT Rayong v Army Utd
Ratchaburi v Khon Kaen
Nakhon Ratchasima v Muangthong Utd
Luk Tapfah v Air Force
Chiang Rai Utd v Chonburi
Buriram Utd v Siam Navy
Udon Thani v Songkhla Utd

Ties to be played 5 June.

Matchday 11 Preview


BEC Tero v Buriram Utd

Bangkok Utd v Suphanburi
Pattaya Utd v Bangkok Glass
Ratchaburi v Chainat
TOT v Muangthong Utd

Army v Songkhla Utd
Chonburi P-P Sisaket
Osotspa Saraburi v Chiang Rai Utd
Samut Songkhram v Police Utd

Buriram United return to action just 48 hours after they enjoyed a memorable night in the AFC beating Bunyodkor 2-1. They travel to Uzbekistan next Tuesday and need the extra time to prepare for the second leg. Scott Cooper will be able to recall Patino, Quero, Carmelo, Suchao, and Han Jae Woong for the Tero match as they didn't feature on Tuesday night. Actually, Buriram wanted to postpone this match until June but BEC Tero weren't keen on this and the top brass at the TPL headquarters insisted it wouldn't be postponed to a later date.

The Thunder Castle will move to the top of the league with a win over Tero but Muangthong would return to the top on Saturday if they can win the Chaeng Wattana derby at TOT.
It's Chonburi's turn to sit this weekend out with Sisaket their supposed opponents. The Sharks are in hot form and will be disappointed not to be involved this round of fixtures.

Suphanburi have wobbled lately after a promising start and they'll be hoping to end their 5 game winless streak at Bangkok United. Army haven't won in three and the visit of Songkla gives them a good chance to end that.

Under pressure coach Stefano Cugurra takes his side to Saraburi as his Fighting Beetles seek their first win of the season. Osotspa are also in a poor run of form and this contest could go either way. The three other games between Pattaya v Bangkok Glass, Ratchaburi v Chainat and Samut Songkhram v Police are also tight to call.

Division 1

Air Force Utd v Saraburi
Bangkok FC v Sriracha
Krabi v Singh Tarua
Phuket v Rayong FC
PTT Rayong v Khon Kaen

Ayutthaya v Trat
Nakhon Pathon Utd v Rayong Utd
Nakhon Ratchasima v Siam Navy

The top 5 all feature on Saturday. Air Force, PTT, Phuket and Bangkok FC all have home matches against lower league opposition. Singh Tarua travel to Krabi who will be with out their coach Sawat Khongkaew who resigned earlier in the week.

TTM must be feeling deju vu as their start to the season is almost as bad as the one they suffered in the TPL last season. After 10 games they have five draws and five losses. They have scored five goals of which only one has been scored on home territory.
Elsewhere on Sunday, familiar Division 2 foes from 2012, Ayutthaya and Trat, meet for the first time in the first division while Nakhon Ratchasima and Siam Navy already has a mid-table look to it. Nakhon Pathom Utd are slowly slipping near the relegation zone after five games without a victory. A loss to Rayong Utd would see the Elephant Warriors move above NPU.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Buriram United 2-1 Bunyodkor

A 76th minute header from substitute Ekkachai Sumrei ensured Buriram pulled of an impressive 2-1 home win over Uzbek powerhouse Bunyodkor.

Bunyodkor's second choice stopper, Murod Zukharov, was the busier keeper early doors. First, he scooped away Theerathon's free kick with his feet after it had came through a cluster of players, and soon afterwards he had to parry away an Adisak shot.

Buriram's early pressure paid off when they took the lead in the 17th minute. A delightful ball from Jirawat skiffed off the back of Anawin past Zukharov after the Buriram winger had snuck in behind the Bunyodkor defence.

Six minutes later, Buriram should have doubled their advantage, but Kai Hirano blazed a rebound over the bar after the Uzbek keeper had been forced into a save.

Bunyodkor had done virtually nothing in the opening 30 minutes, but they gradually improved as the half neared the 45 minutes mark. The Buriram defence were living dangerously as the Uzbek side delivered some testing balls from set pieces.

The persistence of the the Swallows finally paid off as they levelled in first half injury time. It was no surprise that their goal came following a set piece. Sivakorn blocked a delivery from the right with his legs, but it was then chipped across the goal for substitute Igor Taran to volley home.

That goal seemed to take the wind out of Buriram's sails as they found it difficult to keep the same attacking tempo in the early stages of the second half.

On the hour, Bunyodkor almost made it 2-1 when Murzoev's shot on the turn rattled the top of the goal stanchion.

However, on 76 minutes Buriram retook the lead when Ekkachai looped a header inside the far post following a free kick from his former Thai Port colleague Jirawat.

The expected fightback from Bunyodkor never really materialized although they should have had a penalty in the 92nd minute when Anawin bundled over Taran as he was about to pull the trigger. The Aussie whistler, who'd otherwise had a good game, failed to award the spot kick and some would say it was a bit of pay back after the number 9 had tumbled rather easily on a couple of occasions prior to this.

Nonetheless, Buriram claimed a deserved 2-1 victory, but Bunyodkor will still be favorites to progress when the second leg is played next Tuesday at the recently built Bunyodkor Stadium.

Man of the Match: Theerathon - Great attacking play and delivery from set pieces mixed in with some petulance

Monday, May 13, 2013

Matchday 10 Review


Buriram Utd 4-1 Osotspa Saraburi
Chainat 1-2 Chonburi
Muangthong Utd 2-0 Police Utd

Bangkok Glass v Ratchaburi
Chiang Rai Utd 0-0 Samut Songkhram
TOT 3-1 Bangkok Utd
Sisaket P-P Army Utd
Songkhla 0-0 BEC Tero
Suphanburi 1-2 Pattaya Utd

On Saturday the big 3 all won to pull even further away from the chasing pack who are lead by TOT after they beat Bangkok United 3-1 yesterday.
Jung Ji Soo struck right at the death to give Pattaya United an unexpected 2-1 win at Suphanburi. That win moved the Dolphins up three places and they moved above Chiang Rai Utd and Samut Songkhram after they drew 0-0 with each other.
Tensions are running high up north with Teco now the most unpopular Brazilian in the Chiang Rai province. With his days looking numbered in the CRU hot seat, the TPL welcomed back Rene as he took charge of his BEC Tero side for the first time. It's a game that probably won't live long in the memory as the fire dragons were held to a 0-0 draw by Songkhla Utd.

Division 1

Ayutthaya 1-1 Phuket
Rayong Utd 0-0 TTM
Saraburi 1-1 Nakhon Pathom Utd
Sriracha 0-2 Nakhon Ratchasima
Trat 1-2 Air Force

BBCU 1-2 Bangkok FC
Khon Kaen 2-1 Krabi
Siam Navy 1-1 PTT Rayong
Singh Tarua 4-2 Rayong FC

Hardly anybody outside of the Air Force, including myself, thought that Air Force would be top of the pile after ten matches. Their impressive 2-1 win at Trat ensured they moved to the top as PTT Rayong drew 1-1 at Siam Navy.
Singh Tarua moved to third with a comfortable 4-2 victory over Rayong FC while Bangkok FC won 2-1 at BBCU to sit two points behind Singh Tarua in fourth. Lee Tuck's 8th goal of the season saw the Englishman move to the top of the goalscoring charts.
At the bottom, Rayong FC and TTM are slowly being cut adrift with only five points each. They are five points from safety after Khon Kaen's 2-1 victory over Krabi yesterday.

Ang Thong 2-1 Luk Tapfah Pathum Thani Utd

Ang Thong beat Luk Tapfah Pathum Thani United 2- 1 to keep their bid for a place in the Division 2 playoffs alive.

The home side had the best of the opening exchanges and they took the lead after 30 minutes when a corner from Thana was headed home by Abou.

It had been a niggly contest and it threatened to boil over before the break, but thankfully it never really kicked off.

Ang Thong were a lick of paint away from doubling their lead on the hour when Thana’s curling free kick hit the post with the Luk Tapfah keeper well beaten.

Darkness on the Edge of Town
On 65 minutes the stadium was pitched into darkness as somebody forgot to put money into the floodlight meter box. 

After 30 minutes, the match resumed with the away side pressing for an equalizer.

That came 15 minutes from time when Rachan struck from outside the area to level.

With the end of 90 minutes approaching, Nobu Takahashi netted from close in to win it for the Golden Warriors.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chainat 1-2 Chonburi

Chonburi kept themselves firmly in the title race with a deserved 2-1 win over 10 man Chainat.

It was a fairly slow start to the game in the humid temperature with little to note in the first 20 minutes.

Thiago Cunha had been the most likely threat in the early stages and it was the Brazilian who opened the scoring in the 28th minute when he drilled home an Ifran Bachdim cross at the back post.

That lead for the Sharks lasted for barely a minute as the referee spotted an infringement inside the Chonburi box. Most of the spectators failed to see why he awarded a penalty, but the home crowd weren't complaining when Sumanya sent Sintaweechai the wrong way to level matters.

Chainat were dealt a blow in first half injury time when Tanongsak was given a second yellow for a lunge at Adul. The lack of protest from the men in pink suggested the ordering off was merited.

The second half then became basically one way traffic. Pipob should really have netted a diving header shortly after the break, and substitute goalkeeper Chalermkiat made a fantastic one handed save from Thiago minutes later.

The decisive goal came on the hour as Diakite rose majestically at the back post to nod home an Ifran cross to make it 2-1.

Therdask could have wrapped the game up five minutes from time, but the ball stuck under his feet inside the six yard box.

Chainat's 10 men never really looked like getting back into the match as Chonburi held out for a vital three points.

Man of the Match: Thiago Cunha - The Paolo Di Canio of Thai football

Friday, May 10, 2013

Matchday 10 Preview


Buriram Utd v Osotspa Saraburi
Chainat v Chonburi
Muangthong Utd v Police Utd

Bangkok Glass v Ratchaburi
Chiang Rai Utd v Samut Songkhram
TOT v Bangkok Utd
Sisaket P-P Army Utd
Songkhla v BEC Tero
Suphanburi v Pattaya Utd

Five wins in a row have moved Chonburi firmly into the TPL title race alongside Muangthong Utd and Buriram Utd. This Saturday the Sharks have a difficult task travelling to Chainat. The Hornbills are unbeaten at home and have only conceded once in four games at the Khao Phlong. A draw would usually be a reasonable return for Chonburi at Chainat, but with Muangthong and Buriram odds on to win at home, Chonburi really could do with collecting all three points.
Rene Desaeyere takes charge of BEC Tero for the first time in the TPL with a long trip to Songkhla kicking things off. Things didn't go according to plan for the Belgium on Wednesday evening when his new side lost after penalties to first division Khon Kaen in the League cup.
Chiang Rai and Samut Songkhram will both see their meeting as an ideal opportunity to break their duck. The pair have given improved performances in the last couple of weeks without necessarily collecting the points and you feel that their luck is about to turn.

Division 1

Ayutthaya v Phuket
Rayong Utd v TTM
Saraburi v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Sriracha v Nakhon Ratchasima
Trat v Air Force

BBCU v Bangkok FC
Khon Kaen v Krabi
Siam Navy v PTT Rayong
Singh Tarua v Rayong FC

The top 2 of PTT and Air Force both have tricky away matches this weekend. PTT make the short trip to Sattahip to meet a Siam Navy side who'll have been buoyed by their midweek League Cup victory over Suphanburi. Air Force travel to Trat and it's fair to say that fans of each side have encountered differing ends of the football entertainment scale. Air Force fans will have seen four goalless draws out of nine while Trat's nine games have still to see either side keep a clean sheet.
BBCU v Bangkok is the pick of the games at the top of the table. BBCU have been pretty cagey defensively while Bangkok FC have been fairly gung-ho at the back. New boss Reuter Moreira will have no problems with his side offensively, but he'll need to address issues at the back if the Bulligans are to earn promotion.
At the bottom, Rayong FC and TTM still seek their first wins. TTM travel to the home of Rayong FC to encounter Rayong United while the Wild Horses have a tough assignment. at Singh Tarua.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Toyota League Cup Last 32 Results

BBCU 0-1 Army Utd (aet)
Kalasin 0-5 Buriram Utd
Khon Kaen 2-2 BEC Tero (KK won 3-1 penalties)
Krabi 1-2 PTT Rayong
Lamphun Warrior 0-1 Ratchaburi
Luk Tapfah 2-2 Chainat (Luk Tapfah won 5-3 penalties)
Maptaphut Marine 1-2 Rayong FC
Nakhon Ratchasima 2-1 Nakhon Pathom 
Nong Kai 1-4 Police Utd
Phrae Utd 0-2 Air Force (Played May 1)
Pichit 0-6 Chiang Rai Utd
Siam Navy 2-1 Suphanburi
Sriracha 1-2 Songkhla Utd (aet)
Trang 0-1 Chonburi
Udon Thani 2-1 Samut Songkhram
Thai Fleet v Muangthong Utd (15 May)

Udon Thani and Luk Tapfah from the regional leagues made it to the last 16 after knocking out TPL opposition. Udon Thani sent struggling Samut Songkhram to the exit door with a 2-1 victory while Luk Tapfah beat Chainat on penalties.
Other TPL casualties were BEC Tero who lost on penalties at Khon Kaen and Suphanburi who were beaten 2-1 at Siam Navy. That match had a bizarre incident in the first half when the referee awarded Suphanburi a penalty. Granted it wasn't a penalty but what followed was farcical. Navy walked off while Suphanburi lined up to take the spot kick and then after ongoing discussions Suphanburi appeared to walk off. The referee was then going to give a drop ball before Jetsada deliberately miscued the penalty wide of the target and his miss was greeted with warm handshakes from the Navy players. The Division 1 side scored a late goal to send the understrength TPL out of the competition.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

BBCU 0-1 Army Utd (AET)

Army United booked their place in the last 16 of the League Cup with a 1-0 victory after extra time over BBCU.

The match in general was a dire spectacle with little tempo or passion from the mainly second string sides selected for this tie.

The best chance in the first 45 came five minutes before the break for Army when Mongkol got his toe to Diakite's cross, but it fell wide of the post. The acting captain might have been better leaving it to Danny Invincible who was slightly better positioned behind him.

On the hour mark, BBCU finally had a shot of note on target with Anucha's volley nestling into the gloves of Watthanapong.

Army brought on Tatree and Lindemann in the 63rd minute and it briefly gave the away side more potency on their home turf.

With two minutes left, Invincible could have won it in regulation time, but he couldn't get a strong enough touch to finish off a long ball from the right.

In the 105th minute, the winning goal finally arrived when a corner from the right bounced through to Lindemann who neatly controlled on his chest before his left foot shot crashed into the back of the net.

Overall it was a forgettable contest, but from Army's point of view they'll be glad to have made it to the next round. Without their top players, BBCU showed that they don't have quality in depth and making it out of Division 1 could become a struggle if they sustain injuries.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sunday 5 May Review

Bangkok Utd 1-1 Muangthong Utd
Chonburi 3-1 Bangkok Glass
Osotspa Saraburi 1-1 Songkhla Utd
Police Utd 0-0 Chiang Rai Utd
Samut Songkhram 1-2 Buriram Utd

Attaphol Buspakom's first game in the Bangkok Glass hot seat ended in defeat as BG went down 3-1 at Chonburi. All four goals came in the opening half with Anucha and a Cunha double firing the Sharks into a 3-0 lead before Pravinwat pulled one back for the visitors.
In Samut Songkhram, Attaphol's former club, Buriram United, left it late to collect the three points. A Suksayam own goal gave Buriram an early lead before Koomson levelled in the 73rd minute. Just as it looked like Samut Songkhram were going to collect a valuable point, Carmelo steered a header home in the 89th minute to win it for the Esan club.
That victory moved Buriram to within 2 points of Muangthong who could only draw 1-1 at Bangkok United. Sompong gave the Bangkok Angels a first half lead, but that was cancelled out by Diago Siaka shortly after the interval.
There wasn't much to talk about after the Police and Chiang Rai Utd stalemate and anyone who left the Osotspa v Songkhla match early would have missed all the action. An 84th minute Komenan header put the hosts in front before Kone Seydou rescued a point for Songkhla in the 94th minute.

Division 1
Air Force 2-1 Ayutthaya
Bangkok FC 4-3 Rayong Utd
PTT Rayong 1-0 Sriracha
TTM 0-0 Saraburi

Narrow home wins for PTT and Air Force moved the pair back to first and second respectively. Veteran striker Pipat scored the only goal of the match as PTT beat Sriracha 1-0 while Taweesap and Julius Oiboh were the goalscorers in Air Force's 2-1 victory over Ayutthaya.
As reported earlier, Bangkok FC edged out Rayong United 4-3 in a seven goal thriller while at the other end of the entertainment scale, a crowd of 383 watched TTM and Saraburi play out a 0-0 draw in the afternoon Bangkok sun.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bangkok FC 4-3 Rayong United

Bangkok FC edged a seven goal thriller against Rayong United to move within two points of the Top Three.

A Lee Tuck double in the first 35 minutes appeared to have the home side on easy street. The Englishman's first came when he converted a rebound after Olof Watson had hit the post, and the second was a 40 yard free kick which nestled in the bottom right hand corner of the net.

At this point of the game it appeared it was just a case of how many the Iron Bulls would score. However, five minutes before the break, Naratip, in the Bangkok FC goal, spilled a Valci Junior free kick which was then knocked in by Prainet to give Rayong United some hope.

Five minutes after the break, Valci Junior was allowed far too much space to roll the ball into the net before Wuttiphan made it 3-2 to the Elephant Warriors. Naratip wasn't brave enough to block Wuttipan's run and his weak attempt allowed the Rayong midfielder the opportunity to put the away side into the lead.

Valci Junior could have made it 4-2 but he scooped over the target while Samuel Danquah's header clipped the top of the crossbar bar as the hosts pressed to get back into the game.

With about 10 minutes remaining, that pressure paid off when a long free kick was headed goalwards by Olof Watson into the top corner of the net.

The momentum was firmly with Bangkok and with three minutes left on the clock a low Watson cross was swept home by Samuel Danquah to win the three points for the Bulligans. 

At the end of the game, Rayong United would have been hugely disappointed to have scored three away goals, yet come away with nothing. I'm sure Bangkok FC would be delighted with the way that they fought back to win, but they will be slightly concerned at how easily they conceded the three goals.

Man of the Match: Lee Tuck - Another brace for the hard working front man

Saturday 4th May Review

Army Utd 0-0 Chainat
Ratchaburi 1-1 Suphanburi
Pattaya 0-1 TOT

Pattaya United's woeful start to the season continued as they lost 1-0 at home to TOT. The Dolphin's eighth successive defeat was confirmed late on with Panomkorn striking the only goal of the match.
Army United and Chainat served up a stinker in a forgettable encounter while the points were split between the new boys Ratchaburi and Suphanburi. Mika Chunuonsee headed the War Elephants infront in the 12th minute but his goal was cancelled out by a Douglas header six minutes from time.

Division 1
Krabi 2-1 Siam Navy
Nakhon Pathom Utd 1-1 Trat
Nakhon Ratchasima 0-0 BBCU
Phuket 1-1 Singh Tarua
Rayong FC 3-3 Khon Kaen

The top of the table clash between Phuket and Singh Tarua ended 1-1. Dudu finished from a tight angle to give the Islanders the lead before Ali Diarra leveled 10 minutes later. Tarua were probably fortunate to escape with a point as they had to withstand a late onslaught.
BBCU who were without the suspended Bouba Abbo would have been satisfied with a point at Korat. The Big Bang ended the game with 10 men after Marcelo da Silva was dismissed in the closing stages.
Elsewhere an unfortunate Diomonde Adama goal cost the game for Siam Navy as they went down 2-1 at Krabi while Rayong FC and Khon Kaen shared the points in a six goal thriller. It was also honours even at Nakhon Pathom with a 1-1 outcome against Trat.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Matchday 9 Preview


Army Utd v Chainat
BEC Tero ?-? Sisaket
Pattaya v TOT
Ratchaburi v Suphanburi

Bangkok Utd v Muangthong Utd
Chonburi v Bangkok Glass
Osotspa Saraburi v Songkhla Utd
Police Utd v Chiang Rai Utd
Samut Songkhram v Buriram Utd

The Thunder Castle have parted ways with coach Attapon Busabakom who has resigned / been fired / left by mutual agreement after a dispute over substitutions with the club owner during their AFC match with FC Seoul on Wednesday. It's a shame that after one of the greatest nights in the club's history has been overshadowed by this.

Here are some statistics:

Buriram United are the only unbeaten team in the TPL and they travel to Samut Songkhram this Saturday. The Mackerels along with Chiang Rai United are the only two sides yet to taste success this year.

If you want to see goals, then the team to watch is Pattaya United. Their 8 games have yielded 26 goals which is an average of 3.25 per game. Granted most of them have gone in at the wrong end for the Dolphins.

At the other end of the spectrum, the team to avoid are Chainat as their matches have only averaged 1 goal per game. That statistic is rather surprising considering that in 2012 Chainat's 34 games saw a massive total of 131 goals. That figure was 22 more than second highest Muangthong United on 109.

The highest official attendance so far is 19,170 and that was between Buriram United and Bangkok Glass. The lowest is 801 for TOT v Osotspa Saraburi.

*Sisaket have been omitted from these stats above

Division 1

Krabi v Siam Navy
Nakhon Pathom Utd v Trat
Nakhon Ratchasima v BBCU
Phuket v Singh Tarua
Rayong FC v Khon Kaen

Air Force v Ayutthaya
Bangkok FC v Rayong Utd
PTT Rayong v Sriracha
TTM v Saraburi

PTT Rayong, BBCU and Air Force can all boast unbeaten records thus far. TTM and Rayong FC have still to register a win after 8 attempts.

Sriracha and Trat have scored 13, conceded 13 and are the teams to watch if you want to see action. Incidentally 13 is the current total for the most goals scored and conceded by any side in Division 1.

The current 'bore off's' are Air Force with only 9 goals from 8 games. Although they deserve some credit as their net has only been breached twice this term.

Attendance wise, 8,286 is the highest and that came on the opening day of the season at Nakhon Ratchasima v Bangkok FC. No surprises that BBCU has the lowest crowd figure with only 157 brave souls turning up for their match with Rayong FC just two days after Songkran.

*All statistics from above have been taken from the official TPL website

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

FC Seoul 2-2 Buriram United

Buriram United reached the knockout stage of the ACL after a roller coaster evening in Seoul.

The Thunder Castle twice equalized moments after going behind to draw 2-2 with FC Seoul while in Japan, Vegalta Sendai unexpectedly lost 2-1 at home to Jaingsu Sainty to ensure that the Thai side progressed.

FC Seoul made sweeping changes to their side with ten alterations while a depleted Buriram squad could only name four substitutes on their bench.

Despite the wholesale changes, it was the Koreans who made the better start with Kim Hyun Sung and Ko Kwang Min spurning half decent chances for early goals.

The opening period burst into life ten minutes before the interval. Kim Hyun Sung latched onto a layoff to poke straight at Siwaruk while at the other end, Yu Sang Hun had to be alert to block from Adisak after the Buriram man had raced onto a weakly headed backpass.

Four minutes before the break, Hirano was pulled back by Han Tae You on the edge of the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. An unconvincing Carmelo Gonzalez stepped up to take the kick and his soft effort was pushed out for a corner by Yu Sang Hun.

The young keeper then denied Adisak again in the last minute of the half by spreading his large frame in front of the Buriram wide man.

FC Seoul tinkered with their formation at the interval and it paid dividends in the 54th minute when Jung Seung Yong slotted home at the back post to finish off a delicious passing move.

Two minutes later, the Thunder Castle roared back when a through ball from Carmelo split the Korean back four. Hirano's timed run beat the offside trap and he touched it to Ekkachai to side foot home.

The hosts retook the lead in the 74th minute with Kim Hyun Sung heading a floated Molina free kick past Siwaruk.

Unbelievably, lightning struck twice as Buriram levelled seconds afterwards for the second time. Theerathorn whipped in a free kick from the right straight through a cluster of bodies into the back of the net.

With the result in the other group game being in Buriram's favour, the objective for Buriram was to shut up shop.

They managed to do that and as the final whistle blew, Buriram players and staff anxiously awaited the final score from Vegalta Sendai.

It did finish 2-1 for Jaingsu Sainty which means that Buriram will now take on Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan in a two legged tie in the Round of 16.