Sunday, June 30, 2013

Air Force 1-0 Singh Tarua

Former Portugal U20 international Zezinando capitalized on a goalkeeping flap to move Air Force 4 points clear at the top of Division 1.

In all honesty, it had been a dismal spectacle, and it looked like heading for a stalemate until Zezinando fired home after Watchara failed to collect the ball following pressure from Kouassi Hermann.

In the first couple of minutes, Leandro forced Samuel Cunningham into a full stretched save, but that was as good as it got in a turgid first 45 minutes.

The match slightly improved after the interval with Leandro firing a shot inches wide in the 57th minute while Cunningham had to make a decisive block at the feet of Christen with 16 minutes left.

In the 79th minute, Air Force just needed one chance, and they took it when Zezinando drilled home a low drive from the edge of the box.

Singh Tarua had what appeared to be a good penalty shout minutes later, but the referee produced a yellow card to Sarawut instead of pointing to the spot.

The victory moved Air Force four points clear of PTT Rayong, but more importantly, twelve points clear of fourth placed Singh Tarua. Air Force and PTT Rayong should be able to kick on and reserve a TPL spot for 2014 with any one of Bangkok FC, Singh Tarua, Phuket and Nakhon Ratchasima joining them in the top flight. 

Saturday 29 June Review


Bangkok Glass P-P Sisaket
Bangkok Utd 2-1 Chiang Rai Utd
Suphanburi 2-1 Songkhla Utd
TOT 0-0 Buriram Utd

The Buriram express was slightly delayed as they were held to a scrappy 0-0 at TOT. There wasn't much to excite the bumper 4,000 crowd in Laksi. The point moved Buriram five points clear of second placed Muangthong United.

Suphanburi climbed up to third after they beat Songkhla 2-1. Pairote was credited with the first goal even though it appeared to glance off the head of Songkhla's Kone Seydou, before Bireme Diouf side footed the second four minutes before the interval. Songkhla were given a lifeline in first half injury time when Decha turned the ball into his own net, but that hope vanished when Jeera was dismissed 15 minutes from time. The War Elephants had chances to increase their lead as it ended 2-1.

Things are looking bright at Bangkok United after they beat Chiang Rai United 2-1 yesterday. The Angels have moved out of the drop zone and with a host of new arrivals set to start next week, it's looking increasingly likely that Bangkok United will stay up. Chatchai gave BKK Utd the lead on the half hour mark, but that lead was wiped out when Leonardo punished some slack defending early in the second half. With ten minutes left, Romain Gasmi smashed home to win the match.

Division 1

Ayutthaya 1-1 Khon Kaen
Bangkok FC 2-3 PTT Rayong
Nakhon Pathom Utd 2-2 Rayong FC
Phuket 0-1 Nakhon Ratchasima
Trat 2-2 Siam Navy

PTT Rayong won the big game 3-2 at Bangkok FC to cement their position in the promotion spots. Nakhon Ratchasima rounded off their week in the south with a pleasing 1-0 win in Phuket. Yusuke Kato's goal midway through the second half inflicted Phuket's first home defeat of the campaign.

Elsewhere, draws were the theme of the day. Trat's 2-2 at home to Siam Navy ensured that Trat completed the first leg without a zero in any of their scorelines.  Another notable stat from this match was that the point for Siam Navy was their first one on the road. Ayutthaya and Khon Kaen have been slowly edging away from danger recently so a point each was probably the expected outcome. Malick Ndape was Ayutthaya's scorer while Li Xiang was Khon Kaen's. Rayong FC twice took the lead at Nakhon Pathom, but they were twice pegged back with Camara Souleymane grabbing the decisive second equalizer 12 minutes from time.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bangkok FC 2-3 PTT Rayong

Adisak Srikampang pounced 12 minutes from time to fire PTT Rayong to victory with the simplest header he'll ever score.

Bangkok FC looked on course for a victory as they took a 2-1 lead into the break, but two second half goals won an enthralling contest for PTT Rayong.

The home side made the perfect start, scoring with the first real chance of the game as Olof Watson headed home a corner. The ball certainly looked to have crossed the line despite a desperate handball by a PTT Rayong defender in the goal mouth.

Both sides had a couple of half chances to score before Meedech was penalised for an infringement on the edge of the box. Kirati was on spot kick duty, and he coolly send Beyeme the wrong way to level matters.

Amadou Outtara could have given Rayong the lead, but he hit the side netting after Jean Marc Beyeme had parried a shot into his path.

As the half time team talks were being prepared by both coaches, a corner from the left was flicked on by Meedech and finished by Tawin to give the Iron Bulls a 2-1 half time lead.

Bangkok could have had a third shortly after half time, but the ball got stuck under Watson's feet as he bore down on goal.

In the 52nd minute, PTT Rayong equalized when former Bangkok FC man Jozef Tirer curled a 25 yard free kick into the bottom corner.

Adisak was introduced well into the second half, and in the 78th minute he pounced to head into a vacant net after Beyeme had horribly misjudged a Tirer free kick.

Watson and Tawin both had efforts that went close while Lee Tuck's dipping drive forced Pinho into a save as the Oil millionaires held out for the three points.

I thought 3-2 was a fair scoreline as PTT Rayong edged it for me. They are now only one point behind Air Force and barring a melt down, they should be in the TPL next season. The only concern for them today was that both goals they conceded came from corners. Bangkok FC will always score goals, but if they continue to make mistakes at the back, then I can't see them earning promotion. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Matchday 17 Preview


Bangkok Glass P-P Sisaket
Bangkok Utd v Chiang Rai Utd
Suphanburi v Songkhla Utd
TOT v Buriram Utd

Army v BEC Tero
Chainat v Muangthong Utd
Chonburi v Osotspa Saraburi
Pattaya v Police Utd
Ratchaburi v Samut Songkhram

Buriram United know that whatever happens this weekend, they'll lead the TPL at the midway point. With a four point advantage over Muangthong, they can't be overtaken before the second leg of the season commences next week. Last season, Buriram United edged out TOT 1-0 in a tight game in Laksi and a similar scoreline would suit the Thunder Castle again. Muangthong have added more impetus to their attacking play since the arrival of Winfried Schafer, but winning at Chainat won't be easy. MTU recognize that they have to keep collecting wins to hang onto the coattails of Buriram, and hope that the league toppers slip up somewhere along the line.

Army United start a sequence of five home games with the visit of BEC Tero this Sunday. That will be quickly followed by Muangthong United and Chonburi with easier matches against Pattaya and TOT to round things off. Nobody would expect Army to win all five matches, but a good return of 10 points could set them up for a top 6 finish.

The local derby between neighboring provinces Ratchaburi and Samut Songkhram would have been seen as a home banker a few weeks ago. However, the victory over Chonburi last Saturday might well be the catalyst to spark Samut Songkhram's ailing season into life. Last season, the Mackerels appeared to be heading for Division 1 until a mid-season victory over Chonburi prompted an improved run which saw them finish in the top-half of the table.

Chonburi will want to forget the last seven days as two defeats have seen them knocked out of the FA Cup, and as previously mentioned, the league defeat at Samut Songkhram virtually ruled them out of the title race. Their opponents Osotspa are unbeaten in five and returning to winning ways for the Sharks won't be easy.

A clash of interest at the foot is the one between Bangkok United and Chiang Rai United. The loser of this would finish the first leg in the bottom three while the winner would climb into the safety zone. Pattaya v Police also has bearing on matters at the lower end, and another loss for Pattaya would have them lagging well adrift at the bottom of the league.

Suphanburi and Songkhla must be pleased with their first leg performances. Suphanburi are in fourth while Songkhla are 2 places behind in sixth. The pair meet this Saturday hoping to complete the first leg with another victory.

Division 1

Ayutthaya v Khon Kaen
Bangkok FC v PTT Rayong
Nakhon Pathom Utd v Rayong FC
Phuket v Nakhon Ratchasima
Trat v Siam Navy

Air Force v Singh Tarua
Rayong Utd v BBCU
Saraburi v Sri Racha
TTM v Krabi

The Top 4 meet each other as Leg 1 draws to a close. On Saturday, third placed Bangkok FC welcome PTT Rayong who are in second spot. The Bulligans have found the net 36 times this season which is twice the total of PTT. On the flip side of the coin, the Rayong club have only conceded five goals while Bangkok FC have shipped 26. I feel PTT Rayong are likely to pinch a goal at some point, so the contest may be decided upon whether PTT rearguard can hold Bangkok FC's attack at bay.
On the following day, leaders Air Force will host Singh Tarua. The table toppers have lost their last two games to Luk Tapfah and Khon Kaen respectively as injuries and suspensions have taken their toll. Air Force know that if they can defeat Singh Tarua, they'd open a 12 point lead over them at the halfway point. A defeat though, would reduce the gap to six points and with 11 of their last 17 games to be played at home, you'd put your money on Singh Tarua finishing higher in the table than Air Force.
The final sprinkling to the promotion cake this weekend is fifth place Phuket at home to sixth placed Nakhon Ratchasima. Phuket will start as favorites after the Swatcats were forced to play the second half of their FA Cup tie against Phatthalung on Thursday morning due to floodlight failure the evening before. A 2-1 loss and subsequent cup exit to the regional league side after the floodlight debacle would have seriously irked all at Nakhon Ratchasima.

At the other end of the table, it's looking bleak for TTM, Sriracha and Siam Navy. It was only two years ago that the trio were playing in the TPL, yet on current form, all three could be plying their trade in the regional leagues next season. Sriracha have conceded the most goals (29) and have only collected two points from the last 24 available. They travel to Saraburi who have won four and drawn one of their last five home games.
TTM are the lowest scorers (10), but they'll see the visit of Krabi as a chance for three points. Krabi have been on a woeful run lately although they'll be buoyed after fighting back twice last Sunday to earn a point at home to Bangkok FC.
Siam Navy are currently in safety water but worryingly they've got 12 of their last 18 games to play away from Sattahip. With a 100% losing record on the road so far, they could drop into danger zone fairly soon. They start a three game away series with a visit to high scoring Trat this weekend.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

FA Cup Last 32 Results & Short Write-up

Bangkok Glass 1-0 Chonburi (AET)
Bangkok Utd 1-1 Prachuap (Bkk Utd won 4-2 on penalties)
BEC Tero 7-2 Pattaya Utd
Buriram Utd 2-1 Chainat
Chiang Rai Utd 2-0 Khon Kaen
Muangthong Utd 5-2 Songkhla
Osotspa Saraburi 2-0 Nonthaburi
Phatthalung 2-1 Nakhon Ratchasima
Phuket 2-0 Ratchaburi
Rayong FC 2-3 PTT Rayong
Samut Songkhram 2-0 TTM
Siam Navy 1-2 Singh Tarua
Sisaket P-P Bangkok FC
Suphanburi 0-1 Army Utd
Trat 5-4 BBCU
TOT 0-1 Police Utd

Chonburi became the first big casualty of the FA Cup after they lost 1-0 at Bangkok Glass. Peerapong's goal four minutes before the end of extra time saw Bangkok Glass oust 10 man Chonburi. Adul had earlier been dismissed for the Sharks in the 63rd minute for receiving two yellow cards.

Cup holders Buriram United had to come from behind to beat Chainat 2-1 while Muangthong Utd and BEC Tero had slightly easier evenings scoring a hat full of goals to dispatch fellow TPL opposition.

An early Danny Invincibile goal for Army helped them win 1-0 at Suphanburi while Police achieved the same scoreline at TOT courtesy of a Felipe header.

Chiang Rai Utd, Samut Songkhram and Osotspa Saraburi all submitted 2-0 home wins to knock out lower league opponents while Bangkok United needed penalties to see off regional league Prachuap.

The 5-4 between Trat and BBCU was actually the full time score after 90 minutes and not the result of a penalty shoot-out. Phuket, Singh Tarua and PTT Rayong also joined first division Trat in the hat for the next round.

The match between Phatthalung and Nakhon Ratchasima was abandoned at half time last night due to a floodlight failure. The match resumed at 9am this morning with the Swiftlets holding a 1-0 lead from last night. They managed to double that advantage earlier this morning and held out despite Nakhon Ratchasima grabbing a late consolation. Phatthalung are the only regional league side in the draw for the Last 16.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

FA Cup Fixtures - Last 32

Bangkok Glass v Chonburi
Bangkok Utd v Prachuap
BEC Tero v Pattaya Utd
Buriram Utd v Chainat
Chiang Rai Utd v Khon Kaen
Muangthong Utd v Songkhla
Osotspa Saraburi v Nonthaburi
Phatthalung v Nakhon Ratchasima
Phuket v Ratchaburi
Rayong FC v PTT Rayong
Samut Songkhram v TTM
Siam Navy v Singh Tarua
Sisaket P-P Bangkok FC
Suphanburi v Army Utd
Trat v BBCU
TOT v Police Utd

All ties to be played on Wednesday 26th June. Extra time and penalties will be required if the teams cannot be separated.

Sisaket v Bangkok FC has been postponed and I presume that Bangkok FC will be awarded a walkover.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday 23 June Review


Buriram Utd 6-2 Bangkok Utd
Chiang Rai Utd 0-0 Pattaya Utd
Muangthong Utd 3-1 BEC Tero
Songkhla Utd 4-0 TOT

The battle of the newly appointed silver haired coaches was won by the German over his Belgian counterpart. Amorn gave Tero a first half lead but two goals from Teerasil and one from Ri Kwang Chon after the break sealed a 3-1 win for Muangthong United.

Bangkok United were hit for six for the second time this season with a 6-2 loss at Buriram United. Romain Gasmi's 81st minute goal brought Bangkok Utd back into the contest at 3-2. However, there was to be no epic fightback from the Angels as Buriram scored three late goals to add some gloss to the scoreline.

Some scrappy defending by TOT gifted Songkhla a first half lead. Yet again TOT gifted Aron da Silva the second goal although it was a neat lob to finish from the Brazilian. Manop and Kriangkhai added late goals to rub salt into the wounds of a woeful TOT defending performance.

Now that "Teco is Out" things have hardly improved up in Chiang Rai. A 0-0 home draw against technically the bottom placed team hardly inspires confidence. Pattaya's Efe Obode came closest to scoring when his shot hit the base of the post.

Division 1

Krabi 2-2 Bangkok FC
Rayong FC 2-0 TTM
Siam Navy 0-1 Ayutthaya
Singh Tarua 1-1 Nakhon Pathom Utd

Singh Tarua and Bangkok both spurned leads as they were held to draws. Sarawut got the faintest of touches to Leandro's corner two minutes from time, but Souleymane levelled for Nakhon Pathom two minutes into injury time. Bangkok FC twice took the lead in Krabi. However, goals from John Mary and Soukaphone earned a point for Krabi and halted their four game losing streak.

Ayutthaya's 1-0 win at Siam navy bought them some daylight as they moved five points clear of the drop zone. Rayong FC remain in the bottom 4 but their 2-0 over TTM moved them to withing two points of safety.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rayong FC 2-0 TTM

Two bad goalkeeping judgements were the difference between two relegation threatened sides as Rayong FC beat TTM 2-0.

The first error made by Shota Wada was to palm the ball out for a corner as it was harmlessly sailing out for a goal kick. The resultant corner from Sirisak was flicked in by the head of Suriyakan at the near post to give the Wild Horses the lead on 18 minutes.

Seven minutes later, a corner delivery from the same player was flapped at by Shota and Walther Henri gladly fired home to double the lead.

In all honesty, there wasn't much between the two sides in the first half. The closest TTM came to scoring was a dipping 30 yard free kick from Joo Jin Hak that hit the bar on the stroke of half time.

The second half never really got going despite TTM making a double substitution at the break. Sohna's spectacular overhead kick from 25 yards was the highlight of the early stages of the second period. The fact that it went out for a throw in shows how little there was to report.

Joo Jin Hak was TTM's best offensive player and his low drive fizzed narrowly past the post with 13 minutes left.

Rayong FC held out somewhat comfortably for a 2-0 win to lift themselves to within two points from safety. On watching this today, I'd be very surprised if both of these sides are in Division 1 next season. TTM have a couple of decent players, but the majority of them wouldn't stand out in the regional league. Rayong are a well organized unit with limited ability at this level, yet they could stay up if they added a couple of quality players in the forthcoming transfer window.

Man of the Match: Walther Henri - Scored a goal and helped to keep a clean sheet
Rayong FC take a 1-0 lead

Saturday 22 June Review


Chainat 3-1 Bangkok Glass
Osotspa Saraburi 2-1 Army Utd
Police Utd 0-0 Ratchaburi
Samut Songkhram 2-1 Chonburi

The Chonburi faithful must be feeling a strange sensation of deja vu after they watched their side lose in waterlogged conditions at Samut Songkhram for the second successive season. A Gilbert Koomson penalty followed by a fine individual goal had the game wrapped up before Anderson found a late consolation.

If the Chonburi faithful are feeling down in the dumps, then spare a thought for the Army fans who must have been reaching for the whisky bottle after they conceded two late goals in Saraburi. Chainarong gave Army an early lead before Suradech levelled on the stroke of full time. The double whammy was inflicted in the 95th minute when Kapfah netted to give Osotspa's new coach his first win.

It was a wet evening in Chainat, but the locals weren't complaining as they earned an impressive 3-1 win over Bangkok Glass. Goals from Jagdeosingh, Jo Tae Keun and Puwadol helped the Hornbills come from behind to win 3-1.

In the final match, Police and Ratchaburi shared the spoils with neither side able to break the deadlock.

Division 1

BBCU 0-0 Saraburi
Khon Kaen 2-0 Air Force
PTT Rayong 1-0 Nakhon Ratchasima
Rayong Utd 0-1 Phuket
Sriracha 2-5 Trat

Air Force's 16 game unbeaten start to the season finally came to an end when the lost 2-0 at Khon Kaen. Matias Recio's 9th and 10th goals of the season shortly before the break won it for the T-Rex. The only side left unbeaten in the first division are PTT Rayong who edged out Nakhon Ratchasima 1-0.

Sriracha raced into an early 2-0 lead over Trat, but they were then on the receiving end of five goals as Trat hit back to win 5-2. The Blue Marlins are now firmly in big trouble down the bottom of the table.

BBCU and Saraburi's 0-0 draw barely merits a mention while Phuket's 1-0 win at Rayong United moved them up to 5th place.

PTT Rayong 1-0 Nakhon Ratchasima

A Terukazu Tanaka goal midway through the second half was enough to earn PTT Rayong the plaudits against Nakhon Ratchasima.
Prior to this match, PTT hadn’t conceded a home goal, and in the first 45 minutes that record never looked like being breached. Former Korat man, Josef Tirer twice warmed the palms of Munze Ulrich while attempts from Decha and Tanaka flew inches wide of the post.

The Swatcats were more offensive in the early stages of the second half, but they were undone in the 67th minute when Terukazu Tanaka helped the ball on its way into the net after Korat had failed to clear a set piece.
The hosts had chances to increase their goal advantage but they were grateful for the woodwork six minutes from time when Noguchipinto tipped a Nagano volley onto the crossbar.
PTT Rayong held out for a well-earned 1-0 win and moved 10 points clear of Nakhon Ratchasima. For me, they look nailed on for the TPL next season even though they’re not particularly easy on the eye to watch. For the Swatcats, with this current squad they look Top 6 at best, but that might change once their new recruits bed in once the transfer window opens. 

Man of the Match: Prathan Mansiri - He easily held the Swatcat attack at bay

Friday, June 21, 2013

Matchday 16 Preview


Chainat v Bangkok Glass
Osotspa Saraburi v Army Utd
Police Utd v Ratchaburi
Samut Songkhram v Chonburi

Buriram Utd v Bangkok Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Pattaya Utd
Muangthong Utd v BEC Tero
Sisaket P-P Suphanburi
Songkhla Utd v TOT

The eye-catching contest this weekend is Muangthong v BEC Tero on Sunday. Former Muangthong United boss, Rene Desaeyere, returns to Nonthaburi with his new side BEC Tero. The Belgium was surprisingly dismissed in 2010 after leading the Twin Quilins to the TPL title before he had brief spells coaching at Chiang Mai and Suphanburi. The Fire Dragons are currently six matches unbeaten since the arrival of Rene while his opposite number in the dugout this Sunday, Winfried Schafer, lost his first match at the helm of Muangthong at Bangkok Glass a fortnight ago. The former Thailand coach has a tarnished reputation to repair after his time in charge of the national side produced mixed results. Thailand's 5-1 win in China last week under Zico showed that the German's decision to leave might benefit the national side, so Winnie has from now until the end of the season to convince the Thai jury of his coaching credentials.

Meanwhile, leaders Buriram should be able to preserve their four point lead at the top with the visit of Bangkok United while third placed Chonburi won't take Samut Songkram lightly especially after they did the double over the Sharks in 2012.

Suphanburi have been dealt the Sisaket free weekend pass, so wins on the road for Bangkok Glass and Army United would move them to within touching distance of Suphanburi. BG will be expecting no favors from former coach Surachai while Army will be the first opponents for Osotspa's new coach Chalermwoot, who was most recently manager at Pattaya United.

Songkhla's fine run ended last time out when they lost at Bangkok United and they'll be seeking to bounce back when they host TOT. Chiang Rai Utd and Pattaya Utd have both endured miserable campaigns so far, but the winner of this match up could see some light at the end of the tunnel as Leg 2 approaches. Police and Ratchaburi will also be slightly disappointed with their starts and both need to start picking up wins if they are to avoid being sucked into the relegation battle.

Division 1

BBCU v Saraburi
Khon Kaen v Air Force
PTT Rayong v Nakhon Ratchasima
Rayong Utd v Phuket
Sriracha v Trat

Krabi v Bangkok FC
Rayong FC v TTM
Siam Navy v Ayutthaya
Singh Tarua v Nakhon Pathom Utd

PTT Rayong v Nakhon Ratchasima takes centre stage this Saturday. The Swatcats have edged themselves onto the exterior of the promotion chase and three points in Map Kha would shift them firmly into the picture. A loss though, would move PTT ten points clear of Korat which would probably be too much of a gap for the Swatcats to claw back.
Elsewhere on Saturday, leaders Air Force travel to Khon Kaen. The T-Rex have been leaking goals for fun on away trips lately, but their home form has been fairly decent with only one loss in seven this term. BBCU v Saraburi has a mid-table feel to it while plummeting Rayong Utd host Phuket FC. The Elephant Warriors haven't won for ten matches, but they'll take some encouragement from Phuket's poor away form that has seen only one success on the road.

Singh Tarua are coming back into form after a shaky April and May. They'll be expecting three points off Nakhon Pathom on Sunday as will Bangkok FC when they travel to a out of sorts Krabi. The Energy have lost their last four outings and sit only four points above the trap door.

The other three matches on Sunday bear upon the bottom four with Rayong FC v TTM being the proverbial six pointer. A win for either probably won't be enough to move out of danger, yet a Sriracha win at home to Trat should do it for them. I won't predict who will win this match, although I'll stick my neck out and say it will be a high scoring affair. Siam Navy and Ayutthaya are currently in safe water, but the loser of this tie might be in the relegation sector come Monday morning.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Toyota League Cup - Last 8 Draw

Army Utd v Nakhon Ratchasima
Ratchaburi v Chonburi
Rayong FC v Luk Tapfah
Buriran Utd v Udon Thani

These ties will be played over two legs. The first legs will take place on Wednesday 3rd July with the return fixtures on Wednesday 31st July.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Saturday 15 June Review

International Friendly
China 1-5 Thailand

Yes, the scoreline above isn't a misprint!! Prior to this international match, there was very little interest from the Thai media and the vast majority of the Thai public. Hardly anybody gave the Thai squad a chance before this friendly, but now there will be renewed optimism after interim coach Kiatisak "Zico" Senamuang masterminded one of Thailand's greatest ever victories.

A 16th minute spectacular curled effort from Pokklao opened the scoring before Adisak finished off a breakaway move to double the lead 8 minutes later.
Wang Yangpo sent Sinthaweechai the wrong way from the penalty spot after the hosts were awarded a softish looking penalty.
After the break, Adisak added his second seven minutes into the second half. Chanathip then netted from 25 yards to give Thailand a 4-1 lead on the hour.
China's misery was then complete as Sarauwut netted following a goal line clearance from a Chinese defender to complete the mauling 3 minutes from time.

The defeat was China's third in a row as an inquest began into why they lost 5-1 at home to an unfancied Thai side. The tenure of coach Jose Antonio Camacho could well be ended after this embarrassing defeat.

Toyota League Cup Last 16
Luk Tapfah 2-0 Air Force
PTT Rayong 1-2 Army Utd (AET)

Luk Tapfah and Army booked their quarter final berths after victories yesterday. Two second half goals from Luk Tapfah saw them eliminate big brother, Air Force, while Army needed extra time in Map Kha. Adisak's 90th minute goal cancelled out Jung Myung Oh's earlier strike to ensure that an extra 30 minutes were required. With penalties looking imminent, Nipol spared the Gentleman Rangers the lottery of spot kicks when he netted three minutes before the final whistle.

Luk Tapfah and Army join Buriram, Chonburi, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Rayong FC and Udon Thani in the draw for the last 8 on Tuesday.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Saturday 15 June Preview

Toyota League Cup Last 16
Luk Tapfah v Air Force
PTT Rayong v Army Utd

PTT Rayong and Army United both face interesting team selections ahead of this cup tie. In the last round, Army went with a second string XI as they edged past tenants BBCU. With only Buriram and Chonburi left in the draw as serious adversaries, Army will see this competition as a route to success and a stronger starting line-up must be expected.
PTT Rayong on the other hand, are second in the 1st Division and winning promotion to the TPL surely tops their priorities. Will they want avoid injuries and play fringe players, or would they prefer to show their TPL credentials to the viewing gallery?

Luk Tapfah v Air Force also poses a few conundrums as the former is the latter's junior/B team. For the sake of Thai football, we are hoping that the contest is decided on the pitch rather than in the boardroom.

International Friendly
China v Thailand

A new era begins as Thai soccer legend Kiatasuk "Zico" Senamuang takes over as national team head coach after the departure of Winfried Schafer. The main focus for the U23 guru is the SEA Games at the end of the year. This friendly fixture with China in Nanjing has seen Zico opt for mainly U23 players to face what should be a strong Chinese selection.
From the 20 man Thai squad, only Theeratorn and Adul along with the experienced Sinthaweechai could be described as national team regulars. Teerasil and Panupong withdrew following injuries while Kawin is still recovering from his broken leg.
Zico has boldly stated that he will start with a 4-3-3 formation to attack China.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sunday 9 June Review

Bangkok Glass 1-0 Muangthong United
Bangkok Utd 3-1 Songkhla Utd
Pattaya Utd 0-3 Buriram Utd
Ratchaburi 0-0 Chiang Rai Utd

Winfried Schafer's reign as MTU's boss started with a defeat as they lost 1-0 to improving Bangkok Glass. Piyachart beat the offside trap in the 58th minute to net the only goal of the game. With Buriram easing to a 3-0 win at Pattaya it seems highly unlikely that the German will be able to retain the TPL title for his new side. The Thunder Castle are now four points clear and have played one game less than Muangthong. Javier Patino twice, and Carmelo Gonzalez scored the goals in Buriram's 3-0 win at Pattaya.

Bangkok United fans were singing in the rain after their 3-1 home win over Songkhla lifted them out of the relegation zone. Sompong opened the scoring in the 15th minute before Paul Ekollo added two more. Aron da Silva grabbed a late consolation. Chiang Rai United effectively dropped into the bottom 3 after their 0-0 draw at Ratchaburi. On a rain soaked evening chances were at a premium and both sides will be aiming for a vast improvement in Leg 2.

Division 1
Bangkok FC 6-2 Rayong FC
Phuket A-A PTT Rayong
Siam Navy 2-3 Air Force
Trat 1-2 BBCU

The contrasting winning styles of Air Force and Bangkok FC were evident yesterday as both sides continued on with their quest for TPL football. Air Force's 3-2 win at Siam Navy was their ninth in a row and their eighth by a one goal margin. Zezinando was credited with the all important third goal in the 3-2 win.

Bangkok FC on the other hand, might be third in the table, but when it comes to entertainment, they are streets ahead of their opposition. Their 6-2 win over Rayong FC took their home goals tally to 20 in their last four fixtures in Bang Mod. The biggest surprise of the day was that top scorer Lee Tuck didn't bag any of the six goals. The Iron Bulls were 6-0 up, but conceded two late goals to win 6-2.

The match between Phuket and PTT Rayong was abandoned after 50 minutes due to a torrential downpour while BBCU ended their barren run with a 2-1 win at Trat. A Douglas Cobo looping header gave Trat a half time lead, but goals from Pichit and Kraisorn helped the Big Bang fight back to claim three points.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Saturday 8 June Review

Army Utd 2-0 Samut Songkhram
BEC Tero 1-1 Osotspa Saraburi
Chonburi 1-0 Police Utd
Suphanburi 2-0 Chainat

Since changing coach two weeks ago, Osotspa have pulled off two unlikely 1-1 away draws. Last week Chananan levelled at Muangthong and the same man was on target yesterday to cancel our Sho Shimoji's earlier goal for BEC tero.

Pipob's second half strike was the difference between Chonburi and Police United while an early and a late goal gave Suphanburi a 2-0 win over Chainat. Wuttichai headed the War Elephants in front before Christian Castillo took advantage of some shambolic defending to seal the points.

Army United are back into the Top 6 after a routine 2-0 home win over Samut Songkhram. Danny Invincibile side footed the 'Gong Tabok' into a first half lead and Mongkol headed past former Army keeper Lucas Daniel to wrap up the game shortly after the half time interval.

Division 1
Ayutthaya 1-1 Sriracha
Nakhon Pathom United 2-1 Khon Kaen
Nakhon Ratchasima 1-0 Krabi
Saraburi 5-2 Rayong Utd
TTM 1-4 Singh Tarua

Singh Tarua moved temporarily back into third sport after their 4-1 success at TTM. Nakhon Ratchasima also kept in check with Yusuke Kato's late penalty wrapping up the points for the under par Swatcats.

The highest scoring match of the day saw Saraburi knock five past struggling Rayong United. Mario Neto claimed a brace while the impressive Bernard Henri was on the score sheet again for the Red Knights.

Nakhon Pathom United remain on the periphery of the promotion race after they beat Khon Kaen 2-1. Camera Soulemane opened the scoring before a bit of playacting by the goalscorer got Li Xiang a second caution which meant the T-Rex had to play the last 75 minutes with only 10 men. A Matius Recio free kick leveled for Khon Kaen but the ten men couldn't hold out for a point as Warawuth stuck the winner for Nakhon Pathom late on.

Before kick off, Ayutthaya would have fancied their chances against an off form Sriracha. However, after Gaston gave Sriracha a 58th minute lead, Ayutthaya would have been satisfied that Nuttapat's 83rd minute goal earned them a share of the spoils.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

TTM 1-4 Singh Tarua

Singh Tarua eased to a comfortable victory as they beat a lackluster TTM side 4-1.

Straight from the off, it was the away side that opened up on the front foot.

The first goal came after 10 minutes when a Leandro volley on the turn found the top corner after the TTM defence failed to clear the danger.

It seemed like it was only a matter of time until Singh Tarua added a second, but they were hit with a sucker punch midway through the opening period when Yodsak spectacularly volleyed home on the backfoot to convert a Naret cross.

The goal stunned the guests, but within a minute they were back in front when Ali Diarra squared for the Ayutthaya target, Kim Ba We, to fire low with his left foot past Shota Wada.

TTM's Japanese keeper was hardly convincing throughout, yet he produced the save of the match shortly before half time to thwart Leandro Luz.

As the interval was imminent, Leandro set up Kittipong to give the guests a 3-1 advantage at the break.

With the game won, Singh Tarua didn't need to be too adventurous after the interval and their second half efforts were slightly flat compared to that of the first 45 minutes. Nevertheless, TTM looked like a side that were just going through the motions and they rarely threatened to get back into the game.

In the final minute, Ali Diarra lambasted a shot from the right into the top corner to seal a painless victory for Singh Tarua.

It's hard to judge Tarua's promotion credentials on this match as TTM were abysmal. As Lennox Lewis once stated, "you can only beat what's put in front of you," so if that's case, Singh Tarua certainly passed the test.

For TTM, they have 19 games left to save themselves from plummeting from the TPL to the regional leagues in successive seasons. On today's evidence though, it appears they'll be able to choose which one of the six regional leagues they wish to relocate too.

Man of the Match: Leandro Luz

4-1 Game Over

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Matchday 15 Preview


Army v Samut Songkhram
BEC Tero v Osotspa Saraburi
Chonburi v Police Utd
Suphanburi v Chainat

Bangkok Glass v Muangthong Utd
Bangkok Utd v Songkhla Utd
Pattaya Utd v Buriram Utd
Ratchaburi v Chiang Rai Utd
TOT P-P Sisaket

Winnie Schafer takes the helm at Muangthong United for the first time after the departure of Slavisa Jokanovic. The German has watched an abundance of TPL games in the last two years and he'll be familiar with the habits of several of the Thai players that played for the national team. After witnessing Wednesday's League Cup exit at Nakhon Ratchasima, Schafer will know he has a tough job trying to stop the Buriram juggernaut from grabbing the TPL crown.
Two months ago a trip to Bangkok Glass wouldn't have posed much worry for all at Muangthong. However, after the appointment of Attaphol, Bangkok Glass have turned their season around and are currently in the top half of the table and unbeaten in five.

Leaders Buriram should have too much for Pattaya provided they don't get complacent while the chasing trio of BEC Tero, Chonburi, and Suphanburi, all have home matches on Saturday that look winnable.

Rumours of Sisaket's demise will have the clubs at the bottom feeling even more anxious now. Samut Songkhram have yet to win away from Mae Khlong and they travel to Army United who have been spluttering along lately. Ratchaburi would have been buoyed after netting seven times against Khon Kaen in midweek and the visit of Chiang Rai will be regarded as a must for three points. News today has indicated that Stefano “Teco’ Cugurra has been relieved of his coaching duties at Chiang Rai. The northern club are apparently seeking a European to replace the departed Brazilian.

Songkhla United have sneaked under the radar into sixth place, but losing at regional league Udon Thani in the cup midweek would have come as a bitter disappointment. Bangkok United will hope to inflict more misery on Songkhla when they meet at the Thai Japanese on Sunday.

Division 1

Ayutthaya v Sriracha
Nakhon Pathom Utd v Khon Kaen
Nakhon Ratchasima v Krabi
Saraburi v Rayong Utd
TTM v Singh Tarua

Bangkok FC v Rayong FC
Phuket v PTT Rayong
Siam Navy v Air Force
Trat v BBCU

With the exception of Trat, it's been a tough start in Division 1 for the four promoted clubs from the regional leagues. Rayong FC and Rayong United currently occupy the two bottom spots while Ayutthaya only poked their head out from the relegation mire for the first time after their 3-0 win at BBCU last Sunday. With a home fixture against struggling Sriracha, the Ancient Warriors have a great chance to put some distance between themselves and danger.

Rayong United have plummeted to the foot of the league after a promising start. From the last 27 points available, they've collected only two despite the goals of Valci Junior. They won't be expected to collect anything at improving Saraburi, and neither will neighbors Rayong FC who travel into the capital to meet Bangkok FC. The Wild Horses have yet to win away from home although they have drawn four times out of seven on their travels.

Trat have scored in every one of their 14 matches this term, yet at the same time they've still to keep a clean sheet. Their opponents this Sunday, BBCU, have been on a horrendous run with no wins in seven. Their early promotion promise has vanished with the Big Bang now closer to relegation rather than the promotion zone.

Out of the other games, Phuket v PTT Rayong will have the biggest bearing at the top while Singh Tarua and Nakhon Ratchasima will fancy their chances of collecting three points. League leaders Air Force have a tough trip to Siam Navy and another narrow victory could be on the cards.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Toyota League Cup Last 16 Results

Buriram Utd 3-1 Siam Navy
Chiang Rai Utd 0-0 Chonburi (Chonburi won 6-5 penalties)
Nakhon Ratchasima 2-1 Muangthong Utd (AET)
Ratchaburi 7-1 Khon Kaen
Rayong FC 4-2 Police Utd
Udon Thani 1-0 Songkhla Utd

Prompong Kransumrong scored in the last minute of extra time to earn a 2-1 win for Korat over Muangthong United. The second half substitute played himself through after a lovely first touch, and he steadily composed himself to beat Weera in the MTU goal.
In regular time, Teerasil rose well to nod home a Thitipan cross in the 69th minute to give the Nonthaburi side the lead. Nakhon Ratchasima had played well throughout and deservedly levelled late on when Kim Song Yong beat Weera to a high ball to head home.
The tie looked destined for penalties until Prompong stuck in the dying seconds.

Elsewhere there were two other upsets with Rayong FC and Udon Thani also eliminating TPL opponents. Udon Thani scored a late goal to send Songkhla United out of the competition while Rayong FC eventually prevailed to run out 4-2 winners over Police United.

Khon Kaen conceded seven goals for the second time in a week as they lost 7-1 at Ratchaburi while Chaing Rai United and Chonburi's seven goal weekend encounter couldn't be repeated as they drew 0-0. The tie eventually went to penalties and on the 12th kick, Leandro Assumpcao was the fall guy when Sinthaweechai was the first keeper to save a spot kick

In Buriram, the match with Siam Navy was suspended twice due to a massive downpour. Buriram eventually squelched their way through to the quarter finals with late goals from Carmelo and Osmar ensuring their 3-1 win.

Fixtures (Saturday 15 June)
Luk Tapfah Pathumthani Utd v Air Force
PTT Rayong v Army Utd

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sunday 2 June Review


Buriram Utd 2-1 Ratchaburi
Chiang Rai Utd 3-4 Chonburi
Muangthong Utd 1-1 Osotspa Saraburi
Songkhla 3-1 Pattaya Utd

Buriram United climbed to the top of the table despite not being at their best in their 2-1 victory over Ratchaburi. Douglas Gardozo flicked a Patino free kick into his own net to give Buriram the lead, but the former Buriram striker made amends as he levelled from a tight angle angle moments later. Nevertheless, Carmelo fired home midway through the second half to win the three points for the Thunder Castle.

Muangthong dropped to second after they were held at home by Osotspa Saraburi. Pak Nam Chol's early opener was cancelled out by Chananan's long range strike. Chatchai twice denied Djurovski from set pieces late on as the Saraburi side claimed a point.

The first 30 minutes of Chiang Rai Utd v Chonburi encounter were rather tedious with little to indicate that the next hour would produce seven goals. Therdsak netted from the spot before Nix levelled from the other spot shortly afterwards . Dos Santos edged Chonburi into the lead before the break and goals from Therdsak and Ajayi had the Sharks 4-1 ahead. Antonio Claudio and Jerri Faris scored for the hosts, but Chonburi held out for a much needed win.

Manop fired Songkhla United into the lead before Dyachenko put Pattaya back on level terms. However second half goals from Elvis Job and Aron da Silva wrapped up the points to move Songkhla up to sixth place.

Division 1

BBCU 0-3 Ayutthaya
Krabi 1-2 PTT Rayong
Rayong Utd 1-2 Trat
Saraburi 1-0 Phuket
Siam Navy 4-3 Nakhon Pathom Utd
Sriracha 0-1 Air Force

Air Force and PTT Rayong both earned narrow away victories to strengthen their grip at the top. Air Force won 1-0 at Sriracha and PTT Rayong beat Krabi 2-1. Air Force have a 10 point gap over fourth placed Singh Tarua while PTT have a six point buffer.

Mario Neto's late goal gave Saraburi a 1-0 success over 10 man Phuket while Trat moved up to sixth after their 2-1 win at Rayong United.

BBCU's miserable run continued as they were handsomely beaten 3-0 at home by Ayutthaya. The large following from the ancient capital would have gone home happy after goals from Wittiwat, Pongtep and Prince Durosinmi moved their favorites out of relegation danger.

Siam Navy also edged away from the drop zone after their 4-3 home win over Nakhon Pathom. Paulo Renato's 56th minute goal was the winning one in the seven goal thriller.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Saturday 1 June Review


Bangkok Glass 0-0 Suphanburi
Chainat 0-0 TOT
Police Utd 3-2 Army Utd
Samut Songkhram 0-2 BEC Tero

The goalless draws between Bangkok Glass v Suphanburi and Chainat v TOT were largely forgettable while BEC Tero's 2-0 win at Samut Songkhram saw them move up to third place. Sarif gave the Fire Dragons an early lead before a Cleiton Silva free kick doubled the advantage shortly after the interval.

At the Thammasart Stadium, two Bjorn Lindemann first half goals had Army firmly in the driving seat. However, Police United staged a second half comeback to win their first game in nine attempts. Adul pulled one back before Tana levelled from the spot. In the 89th minute, Paitoon scored from close range to win the points and send the Crimsom Cops home happy.

Division 1

Khon Kaen 1-0 TTM
Rayong FC 1-1 Nakhon Ratchasima
Singh Tarua 2-0 Bangkok FC

Nakhon Ratchasima fans were left spewing as they conceded a late goal to drop points from a winning position for the third consecutive game. Yusuke Kato scored a solo goal to give the Swatcats a second half lead. Munze Ulrich was then given a yellow and then a red card with 15 minutes left as he barked vehemently in the referee's face. The 10 men from Korat couldn't hold out as Piroj scored a late header to grab a point for the Wild Horses.

Khon Kaen leapfrogged TTM after their 1-0 win yesterday while Singh Tarua moved to within one point of Bangkok FC. Second half goalf from Leandro and Teerawut earned Singh Tarua a 2-0 win.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Singh Tarua 2-0 Bangkok FC

Singh Tarua got back to winning ways as they deservedly beat Bangkok FC 2-0 at the PAT Stadium.

The game was played at a lively tempo and at times it got rather intense with the bulky Meedech making himself the enemy of the Khlong Toei Army.

Apart from a Lee Tuck chance that the Englishman failed to connect to from inside the box, it was Singh Tarua who had the best opportunities in the first half.

A Todsapol header hit the woodwork following a corner while Mathias Christen twice had decent chances to open the scoring. His first was a shot that trickled wide after he'd turned well in the box, and his second was a header across the face of the goal. Leandro almost scored with a free kick in injury time, but Jean Marc Beyeme tipped his strike over the bar.

The initial stages of the second half were rather quiet by comparison, but the breakthrough goal came in the 67th minute.

Pavarit crossed from the left for Leandro to head home.The Brazilan's header hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line and back out. However, the linesman was on the spot to correctly awarded the goal

On 78 minutes the game was wrapped up when Teerawut scored a rare goal. The Iron Bulls failed to properly clear the danger and Ali Diarra released Teerawut to win the game.

Lee Tuck and Anon forced Watchara into a couple of late saves as Tarua held out comfortably for the win.

The 2-0 victory moves Singh Tarua to within one point of Bangkok FC. The Bulligans will be disappointed that their attacking play wasn't at their finest today. Despite the clean sheet, the home side's back 4 and goalkeeper still look like there is always a mistake waiting to happen. Nonetheless, Singh Tarua showed that with a couple of suitable additions in the forthcoming transfer window, they'll be firmly in the promotion mix come the end of the season.

Man of the Match: Ali Diarra - A vital cog in the Tarua engine room

Kick off

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