Saturday, August 31, 2013

TTM 1-2 Rayong United

Final Score
Rayong United claimed their first win in seven matches with two goals from striker Ladule. There was early and late drama with Rayong Utd scoring their first goal ten seconds after kick off while in injury time TTM's Sidibe skied a penalty over the bar to consign TTM to a 2-1 defeat.

The struggling duo were given a boost yesterday when the TPL announced that they will expand the top league to 20 teams for 2014. The knock-on effect for Division 1 clubs mean that there will only be two relegation slots as apposed to four. That meant TTM came into this contest ten points clear of danger while Rayong United's target to safety has been cut from twelve to eight points.

The new tenants of the Ramkhamhaeng University Stadium kicked the match off in front of a paltry crowd of 233 and they were behind in an instant of the starting whistle. A long ball over the TTM rearguard sailed over Nguemaleu's head kindly into the path of Ladule who beat Pirot to open the scoring.

Poramat could have increased the lead in the 12th minute but his low shot from the edge of the box trickled wide of the post.

TTM gradually edged their way into the game with Jin Han Joo pulling the strings in midfield while the striking duo of Sohna and Sidibe began to threaten. Sidibe should have levelled in the 35th minute when he weakly headed straight at the keeper following a cross from Rattakit.

Nevertheless, the Tobacco Monopoly levelled three minutes later when Sohna glanced his header home from Jirawat's cross.

The Elephant Warriors responded positively but Wuttipan was rather wasteful with a couple of chances as it ended 1-1 at the break.

Scrappy stuff
The second half never got going as it became scrappy and was littered with frivolous fouls. Saknarin's free kick from the halfway line almost left Pirot with egg on his face as he scrambled across his goal to palm the ball around the post while TTM's Yoo Hong Youl's header across goal crept agonisingly wide of the post.

The winning goal arrived ten minutes from time courtesy of Ladule. Saknarin played in the Californian who beat the offside trap before he easily rounded Pirot to score. The TTM cheer squad weren't impressed with the lack of offside call and spent the next five minutes squawking into their megaphone to express their disapproval.

However, the referee wasn't such a bad egg after all when he awarded TTM a penalty on the stroke of full time. Saranyu carelessly tripped Rattakit on the edge of the box and the referee correctly pointed to the penalty spot. Sidibe's stuttered run for the penalty ended with him blazing the ball miles over the bar.

The win for Rayong United would have been slightly tarnished after Rayong FC won and Ayutthaya picked up a point in Phuket.  The Elephant Warriors are six points from safety with eight games left. It's most likely too big a gap to retrieve and if they are relegated, you just wonder where they'll end up next season after stints in Kleang and Prachinburi.

TTM are the ultimate Travelling Wilburys yet it seems Lopburi is their desired destination. The fans and club seem insistent to call themselves TTM Lopburi and barring a catastrophe, they should pick up enough points to start 2014 as a first division side. Whatever happens, I can't see them starting next season in Ramkhamhaeng.
Ladule - Man of the Match

Man of the Match: Ladule - His brace could prove vital to Rayong United's destination

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Matchday 26 Preview


BEC Tero v Songkhla Utd
Chonburi v Chainat
Police Utd v Muangthong Utd
Samut Songkhram v Chiang Rai Utd

Army P-P Sisaket
Bangkok Utd v TOT
Osotspa Saraburi v Buriram Utd
Pattaya v Suphanburi
Ratchaburi v Bangkok Glass

There are a couple of interesting matches at the bottom end of the table on Matchday 26. The first is the one between Samut Songkhram and Chiang Rai Utd on Saturday. Inside sources tell me that all is not well in the Chiang Rai camp. The Fighting Beetles are currently three points behind fourth bottom Samut Songkhram and another loss could be the beginning of the end.
TOT make the trip down Vipavadee Road to Din Daeng hoping to halt their seven game losing run. A loss to Bangkok United would drop TOT below the Angels and leave them in impending trouble. TOT were hit with bad news earlier in the week that they will have to play the rest of the season without influential defender Lee Jun Ki.

Leaders Muangthong have a local(ish) derby as they travel up the Bang Pa-in - Pakkret Expressway to Thammasart. Muangthong are unbeaten in their last nine league matches and have been involved in some roller coaster games. It's been exciting for the fans to watch, yet I'm sure Rene won't have been satisfied with some of his side's slapstick defending lately.
Buriram have a tough trip on Sunday to Osotspa Saraburi. The M-Power have only lost once in their last 13 games so Buriram won't have it all their own way.

On Saturday, Chonburi have the chance to complete the double over Chainat while BEC Tero v Songkhla has little riding on it. There is a strong possibility that Tero could have their first sub 2,000 attendance of the season.
24 hours later, the Ratchaburi v Bangkok Glass contest could be an entertaining one while Suphanburi will be aiming to end their three match goal drought at Pattaya. The Dolphins might fancy their chances of beating an injury ridden Suphanburi squad.

Division 1

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

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

It's Singh Tarua's turn to go first this weekend as they travel to Rayong FC. The Wild Horses have only picked up three points from the last 27 available, so Tarua can't afford anything other than a win considering they have the toughest run-in of all the promotion chasing sides.
Also on Saturday, Nakhon Ratchasima need to beat Sriracha after they dropped seven points off the pace last weekend. It's still mathematically possible for the Swatcats to go up and noises from their Japanese coach at the beginning of the week stated that his side won't throw in the towel just yet.

On Sunday, the other three contenders stay at home with winnable fixtures at their disposure. Air Force will be aware that opponents Trat won 2-1 at PTT Rayong earlier this month. Nonetheless, the Airmen appear to be over their sticky patch and are currently five games without a loss.
Siam Navy travel to the PTT Stadium having gone seven matches unbeaten. Granted five of them have been draws, although the Sattahip club finally won their first away contest when they beat Rayong FC last week.
Bangkok FC begin a sequence of five games with BBCU in ninth place being the highest ranked team they'll face. The Bulligans have won their last three league home matches by narrow margins and I can see another tight contest this weekend.

And finally, the TTM Roadshow has left the Bunyajinda Stadium in northern Bangkok and has relocated to the east of the capital at Ramkamhaeng University. I expect they'll stay there until the end of the season before moving onto pastures new yet again. A three figure crowd is expected for the visit of Rayong United.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

FA Cup Last 8 Results

Bangkok FC 0-1 Bangkok Glass
Saruta's deflected drive in the 27th minute deservedly won the contest for the TPL side over their Division 1 opponents. Glass were the superior side throughout and should have won by a greater margin. In saying that, Bangkok FC came close to levelling in the second half as Lee Tuck and Samual Danquah had chances to level.

Buriram Utd 3-0 Singh Tarua
The cup holders strolled into the last 4 with a comfortable win over a second string Singh Tarua. Jirawat's 30 yard free kick opened the scoring in the 35th minute before Carmelo added a second before the break. It was game over once Jerry Amara got his second yellow card and Suchao completed the scoring with twelve minutes left.

Police Utd 0-0 Chiang Rai Utd (3-1 pens)
The sides couldn't be separated after 120 minutes so it went to penalties. Police United prevailed winning 3-1.

PTT Rayong 3-4 Muangthong Utd (AET)
Muangthong produced an amazing turnaround to win 4-3 at PTT Rayong. The Division 1 leaders stormed into a 3-0 half time lead as Muangthong's defence gave a performance more reminiscent of the 'Fox and Hound' pub rather than the TPL leaders. However, an own goal gave them hope in the 63rd minute and Edivaldo grabbed another four minutes later. PTT couldn't hold out as Teerasil equalized in the 85th minute. The match winning goal came in the 111th minute when Mongkol's stinging drive beat Pinto to win the match in extra time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday 25 August Review


Buriram Utd 5-1 Samut Songkhram
Chainat 2-2 Army Utd
Chiang Rai Utd 2-2 Police Utd
Muangthong Utd 3-2 Bangkok Utd
Songkhla 2-2 Osotspa Saraburi

It was the late late show at Muangthong as two goals deep into injury time saw them beat Bangkok Utd 3-2. Panupong's 84th minute own goal seemed to have the points heading back to Din Daeng. However, there was a sting in the tail for Bangkok United with Kim Yoo Jin levelling in the 94th minute before Edivaldo grabbed the winner one minute later. Muangthong's third successive 3-2 home win kept them top of the table.
Any lingering jet lag from Buriram's trip to Iran was wiped out as the swept to a 5-1 win over Samut Songkhram. Carmelo Gonzalez was the hero of the day scoring four of Buriram's goals. Patino scored the other while Guy Hubert replied for the Mackerels.
The remaining games all ended in 2-2 draws. Narul's goal midway through the second period earned struggling Chiang Rai Utd a point against Police while two late goals from Atirat ended Songkhla's goal drought as they salvaged a point at home to Osotspa. Yannick 71st minute goal quickly cancelled out Bjorn Lindemann's goal five minutes earlier to make it 2-2 between Chainat and Army.

Division 1

Ayutthaya 1-3 Air Force
Siam Navy 1-1 Krabi
Singh Tarua 2-1 Phuket
Sriracha 1-2 PTT Rayong

The three teams involved in the promotion chase all won to keep it tight at the top. Early strikes from Kirati and Tirer helped PTT Rayong on their way to a 2-1 win at Sriracha while a Kouassi Yao Hermann double and a Jun Uruno goal eased Air Force to a 3-1 win at Ayutthaya.
Singh Tarua came from behind to move back into third place. Alex gave Phuket an early lead but Ivan levelled before the break. Leandro struck in the 55th minute to win the contest for Tarua.
Siam Navy's point at home to Krabi moved them out of the bottom 4. The Sattahip club were denied all three points when Valci Junior struck in the 90th minute

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Singh Tarua 2-1 Phuket

Singh Tarua fought back from a goal down to extended their winning home run to six games.

The Islanders started with a 4-3-3 formation and it was them who made the brighter start. After only a few minutes, they took the lead when Pavarit was punished for some slack defending. Possession was gifted to Phuket and Alex beat Watchara with an assured low shot.

After the goal, Tarua gradually forced their way into the game and were awarded a flurry of free kicks around the Phuket penalty box.

The usually reliable Leandro was rather wasteful with his set pieces but he did play a part in the equaliser. His cut back across the box eventually landed at Ivan who produced a calm finish to level on the half hour mark.

Adisak made the save of the match five minutes after the restart when he spectacularly tipped over Leandro's header following a precise cross from Patrick Reichelt.

Five minutes later, Phuket conceded the winner when the failed to clear they danger and Leandro's scuffed effort found the back of the net.

There is no doubting that Leandro is a talented player but after the goal his theatrics were embarrassing to watch. At one point he rolled himself back onto the pitch so that play could be held up for him to receive treatment.

Nonetheless, Phuket seemed to run out of ideas as Singh Tarua held out rather comfortably for the three points. It was a vital win for Tarua considering their other rivals all won this weekend. Apart from the first 10-15 minutes, Tarua were always in control. Phuket have some good players in their squad but they seemed to run out of steam. Teco has a big job on his hands at Phuket, but hopefully he will be given time to implement his ideas for next season.

Man of the Match: Seeket - Comfortable performance at right back

Bangkok Glass 0-0 Chonburi

The plaudits were shared as Bangkok Glass and Chonburi played out a 0-0 draw.

Chonburi's 4-5-1 formation struggled to make any headway in the opening period with Narit in the BG goal barely tested. Former Bangkok Glass favourite Samual Ajayi was given the lone striking role but he was largely ineffective as he had to keep coming deep to collect the ball. The lack of service in the final third meant that he couldn't use his pace to frighten defenders and Ajayi was comfortably marshaled by central defenders Subara and Pravinwat.  

The best chance of the half fell to BG's recent signing Lazarus Kaimbi. The former Osotspa striker linked up nicely with Chatree before his finish sailed wide of the target. The Singha Brewery's favourite son, Leesaw, also had a decent opportunity but his low shot was thwarted by Sinthaweechai at the near post.

The Sharks improved after the break and Narit was finally tested as he got down low to save Adul's drive and then he spectacularly tipped over Arthit's free kick. That was to be the Chonburi's number 7's last involvement in the game as he limped off to be replaced by Therdsak. Quero was also hooked minutes later with Anderson dos Santos replacing the winger. It seemed that Chonburi's coaching staff were content to sit on a point.

Chakrit then entered his contender for miss of the season as he failed to hit the target from inside the six yard box. Anucha's cut back from the by-line found an unmarked Chakrit at the back post. All he had to do was stroke it into the empty net but somehow the ball bobbled of his foot sideways into the grateful arms of Narit.

After that, both sides sat back to protect what they had. A draw was a fair result and the pair would have been happy with their defensive performances.

Saturday 24 August Review


Bangkok Glass 0-0 Chonburi
Suphanburi 0-0 Ratchaburi
TOT 0-3 Pattaya Utd

TOT suffered their seventh straight defeat as Pattaya United netted three times after the break. An own goal in the 47th minute give the Dolphins the lead before Efe Obode and Phanuwat netted from close range. The win for Pattaya moves them into 16th place above Chiang Rai United.

The other two matches ended goalless. A bumper crowd of 17,250 were in attendance to watch Suphanburi and Ratchaburi. The home side had the best chances but they couldn't find the target as the Suphanblood have now seen their favorites go three matches without a goal. It was also a stalemate at the Leo Stadium between Bangkok Glass and Chonburi. Chakrit should have netted for Chonburi in the second half but he somehow failed to hit the target with an empty net beckoning.

Division 1

BBCU 1-0 Nakhon Ratchasima
Khon Kaen 3-2 Rayong FC
Rayong Utd 1-2 Bangkok FC
Saraburi 3-0 TTM
Trat 3-2 Nakhon Pathom Utd

Late goals were to have varying consequences for the sides involved in the promotion race. Bangkok FC had to come from behind as they beat Rayong Utd 2-1. Tuck and Watson were yet again the goal scorers for the Bang Mod side. The win moves the Iron Bulls back into third place.
Natthikorn's 85th minute goal inflicted Korat's first defeat in six and consequently dropped them seven points off the promotion places.

Saraburi got back to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 victory over TTM. Errol Stevens grabbed a double and Bernard Henri netted a fine solo goal for the Red Knights.
If Khon Kaen stay up, they'll be thankful for the goals of Matias Recio. The big man scored two more yesterday in his side's 3-2 win over Rayong FC. The game between Trat and Nakhon Pathom also finished with the same scoreline. Rattaporn scored twice for Trat while Nakhon Pathom's Leslie Ablorh was ordered off inbetween Rattaporn's goals.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Matchday 25 Preview


Bangkok Glass v Chonburi
Sisaket P-P BEC Tero
Suphanburi v Ratchaburi
TOT v Pattaya Utd

Buriram Utd v Samut Songkhram
Chainat v Army Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Police Utd
Muangthong Utd v Bangkok Utd
Songkhla v Osotspa Saraburi

The big news of the week was that the Supreme Administrative Court has allowed Sisaket the right to play in the TPL again. The fact that the club has no players and 31 fixtures left to fulfill between now and the beginning of November makes it highly unlikely they'll resume playing again this season. However, a new can of worms could be opened if Sisaket were demoted to Division 1. The TPL administration will have to tread carefully in making their final decision. Increasing the TPL to 20 clubs could solve potential knock-on lawsuits from Sisaket or any other clubs that feel they've been treated unfairly.

Regardless of what happens, Chiang Rai Utd and Pattaya Utd need to get their fingers out or they'll be in the second tier next season. Police Utd have been playing reasonably well lately, but nothing less than three points should suffice for CRU on Sunday. Pattaya also must take the full compliment at plummeting TOT. The Telephone Boys have lost six on the trot and a seventh would drop them firmly into the relegation picture.

At the top end, new leaders Muangthong should be able to take care of the visiting Bangkok Angels while Buriram ought to have had enough time to get over their gruelling trip to Iran before welcoming Samut Songkhram on Sunday.

Predicting the winner from Bangkok Glass v Chonburi is impossible as the form of the pair fluctuates from week to week.
Suphanburi's squad has been hit by injuries lately and Ratchaburi might see this as a chance for an upset.
For Chainat v Army, see BG v Chonburi from above. Chainat will still have Surachai Japurapattarapong calling the shots from the dugout for the immediate future despite him being named as the new head coach of Thailand's national team.
Struggling Songkhla haven't scored for five matches and have only picked up two points in the process. Osotspa Saraburi will feel confident of returning from the south with three points.

Division 1

BBCU v Nakhon Ratchasima
Khon Kaen v Rayong FC
Rayong Utd v Bangkok FC
Saraburi v TTM
Trat v Nakhon Pathom Utd

Ayutthaya v Air Force
Siam Navy v Krabi
Singh Tarua v Phuket
Sriracha v PTT Rayong

It's amazing what a difference a couple of weeks can make in football. It was only a fortnight ago that a woeful and inept Sriracha side lost 4-1 at Singh Tarua. Since then, they've ultimately been allowed to include Chonburi loanees Irfan Bachdim and Ivan Boskovic in their squad, and as a consequence Sriracha have picked up seven points in their last three games. They have a big test this weekend when they host leaders PTT Rayong. A win for the Blue Marlins would move them onto 30 points.

Earlier this month, Siam Navy were also in danger of sinking, but two wins have moved them out of danger. They'll fancy their chances of beating mid-table Krabi while a loss for Ayutthaya at home to promotion bound Air Force would leave them in deep trouble. Phil Stubbins has been given the task of saving the club from the drop after Thongchai Sukkokee called it quits.
Khon Kaen are also in the bottom 4 and the visit of Rayong FC needs to be considered as a three point banker. TTM have bought themselves some breathing space and a point at Saraburi would be satisfactory enough. 

In the promotion battle, Singh Tarua will be looking for some more magic from Leandro when Phuket visit the PAT Stadium on Sunday. By this time, Tarua will most likely be playing catch up provided that Bangkok FC have picked up three points at Rayong Utd 24 hours earlier. Nakhon Ratchasima could also be tightly on the Khlong Toei side's heels if they can win at BBCU.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Brief Round-up of Wednesday 21 August


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

Goals from Piyaphon, Teerasil and Jakkraphan helped Muangthong beat Chiang Rai Utd 3-1 to move them back on top of the pile. In the official TPL table, MTU are two points clear of Buriram having played a game extra. In due course adjustments will be made once a verdict has been finally delivered on the Sisaket saga.

No matter what happens with Sisaket's possible reinstatement/demotion, Chiang Rai Utd and Pattaya will be in Division 1 next year if they finish in their current positions. As mentioned previously, CRU lost at home to Muangthong while Pattaya were beaten by Bangkok United in their own backyard. Chiang Rai Utd are now four points adrift of fourth bottom Samut Songkhram after the Makerels beat Songkhla Utd 2-0. It's even bleaker for Pattaya who have a six point deficit on Samut.

In the battle for third place, Chonburi had an abundance of chances to dispose of Suphanburi but they couldn't find the breakthrough as it finished 0-0. The Sharks hold a four point advantage with ten matchdays remaining.

Elsewhere, an under strength Bangkok Glass stunned Army United as they won 3-0 at the Royal Thai Army Stadium. A second half hat-trick from Mbegono Yannick helped Chaniat come from behind to win 4-2 at BEC Tero. That defeat for the Fire Dragons ended their brief mini revival. TOT lost their sixth successive TPL match going down to Jhon Obregan's goal in their 1-0 loss at Ratchaburi.

AFC Champions League - Quarter Final 1st Leg 

Esteghlal 1-0 Buriram Utd
Buriram lost 1-0 in Iran after Esteghal won courtesy of a fortunate goal in the opening minutes. Khosro Hedari's cross sailed over Sivaruk in off the back post. The Thunder Castle more than matched their illustrious opponents and they'll be confident of overturning the deficit next month in the second leg.

Division 1

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

Air Force were the only side in the top 5 not to win as they came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw in Phuket. The Airmen had the most difficult fixture out of all the promotion contenders, yet they'll be relatively happy with a point in Phuket. PTT Rayong, Singh Tarua, Bangkok FC and Nakhon Ratchasima all submitted home wins.

Losses for Rayong FC and Rayong United mean they can both start preparing for life again in the regional leagues. To have any chance of survival, they'd both need to win seven of their remaining ten matches, and that's not going to happen!!

Ayutthaya could be making a quick return to the regional leagues along with the Rayongs if results don't start improving soon. Siam Navy, Sriracha and TTM have all hit form at the right time while the Ancient Warriors continue to stutter along. Their 2-0 loss at Nakhon Pathom leaves them three points from safety. Khon Kaen are the other side occupying a relegation berth. They lost 2-0 at a Leandro Luz inspired Singh Tarua.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sunday 18 August Review


Bangkok Glass 2-3 BEC Tero
Chainat 1-2 Osotspa Saraburi
Sisaket P-P Samut Songkhram
Suphanburi 0-1 Army Utd
TOT 1-2 Chonburi

The Sunday scoreboard had an unfamiliar look to it with a clean sweep of away successes. Chonburi's 2-1 win at TOT helped them open up a four point lead on Suphanburi to cement their bid for third place. Leandro Assupcao's early double saw the Sharks on their way. Suphanburi lost at home to Army as Bjorn Lindemann's 53rd minute goal was the difference. The Boys in Green held out despite a late siege on their goal.

BEC Tero made it four unbeaten with a 3-2 win at the Leo Stadium. Cleiton Silva scored the winner twenty minutes from time after both sides shared four goals between them in the first half. Three players were dismissed in injury time after a slap and tickle contest. Leesaw and Michelini were BG's culprits while flyweight Chanathip was also sent to bed without any supper.

Goals either side of the interval helped Osotspa win 2-1 at Chainat. Natarid gave the Hornbills a 19th minute lead, but strikes from Kabfah and Suradej swung the contest back in favour for the M-Power

Division 1

Ayutthaya 2-0 TTM
Rayong Utd 0-2 PTT Rayong
Saraburi 1-1 Nakhon Ratchasima
Trat 3-3 Bangkok FC

PTT Rayong hit the top again after they beat Rayong United 2-0. It was a comfortable evening for PTT as they made the short trip into Rayong city centre. With twelve games left to play, Rayong United are nine points from safety and looking doomed.

It was a thrilling contest in Trat as the White Elephants shared a 3-3 draw with Bangkok FC. Watson put the Bulligans infront before Franklin Anzite scored from the penalty spot to claim the first of his treble. Bangkok FC were then reduced to ten when Jakkrapong's flying elbow had him sent packing. However, goals from Watson and Tuck gave the ten men a 3-1 lead, but they couldn't hold out a Anzite bagged two more goals; the last of which came in the 91st minute.

Nakhon Ratchasima made the trip across Khao Yai and came back from Saraburi with a share of the spoils. They would have settled for a point in the 70th minute when Polawat was given his marching orders. Similar to the Trat v Bangkok match, the ten men then went on to take the lead with a suspiciously looking Nontapan scoring five minutes from time. The Swatcats were pegged back moments later when Piyawat stuck out a leg to level.

Ayutthaya earned a much needed three points beating TTM 2-0. Goals from Rachanon and Durosinmi weren't enough to move Ayutthaya out of the bottom 4, although it did move them to within one point of safety.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

TOT 1-2 Chonburi

TOT suffered their fifth straight TPL loss as a brace from Leandro Assumpcao helped Chonburi claim a 2-1 win.

The Laksi club suffered a humiliating 5-0 home defeat to BEC Tero during the week, and for the first 30 minutes a similar embarrassment looked to be on the cards.

Late arrivals to the TOT Stadium would have missed the opening goal as Assumpcao's low drive found the bottom corner of the net in the fourth minute.

Juan Quero was recalled to the Chonburi starting 11, and the Buriram loanee was causing havoc down the left flank. The Spaniard crossed for Leandro Assumpcao in the 12th minute but the Brazilian couldn't keep his header on target.

Within a couple of minutes, the same duo linked up again and they sliced through the TOT rearguard with ease before Assumpcao nodded home Quero's delivery from the left.

By this stage of the match, it just seemed a case of how many Chonburi would score. Anucha came close as Weera made a sprightly save to deny the Chonburi left back. The former Muangthong keeper made the save of the match in the 27th minute when he acrobatically tipped Assumpcao's header around the post.

The away side continued to dominate, but TOT were thrown a lifeline a few minutes before the break when Prakit smashed the ball home to pull one back.

Juan Quero had two decent chances to increase the lead shortly after the interval. First he weaved his way through the TOT defence before shooting just wide of the target. Moments later his curled effort was only a matter of inches off the mark.

Chonburi appeared to take their foot of the pedal in the second period and Warut's drilled shot wasn't far away as the contest was far from over.

In the 70th minute, newly introduced sub Pipob was unlucky not to make it 3-1 as he curled a shot onto the post.

Prakit was making headway down the left for TOT as his side pushed for an equaliser. The goalscorer forced Sintaweechai to tip over, and with six minutes left the Chonburi keeper did just enough to keep out a shot from Panomkorn.

TOT couldn't force an equaliser as they lost 2-1. They are slipping down the table and on their first half showing, they will be relegated. It was alarming how many attacks broke down because they had nobody in the centre forward position. For some reason they have 6'4 Bas Savage switching flanks to play wide midfield. Surely, he would be more effective if he was played through the centre.

Chonburi's performance had some good productive movements with Juan Quero involved in most of them. However, the Sharks still have a long way to go before they will be challenging Muangthong and Buriram for the TPL crown again.

Man of the Match: Juan Quero - Lively performance from the little man

Saturday 17 August Review


Bangkok Utd 4-2 Ratchaburi
Buriram Utd 2-0 Chiang Rai Utd
Muangthong Utd 3-2 Pattaya Utd
Songkhla Utd 0-2 Police Utd

It's as you were at the top after Buriram and Muangthong earned home victories over relegation threatened opposition. Muangthong's win over Pattaya was their second 3-2 success of the week. Kriangkhai gave the Dolphins a surprise lead, but MTU replied in first half injury time when Edvaldo Hermoza slotted home a hotly disputed penalty. A Teerasil header had the Kirins in front before Bang Seung Hwan sealed the three points with 15 minutes left to play. Darlington did pull one back for Pattaya to give the champions a nervy last ten minutes.
Buriram got the job done with a 2-0 win over Chiang Rai Utd. Carmelo Gonzalez won't be on the plane to Tehran today, but his fine individual goal gave the Thunder Castle the lead yesterday. Adisak added a second to keep Buriram in pole position. However, they could drop to second on Wednesday if Muangthong win in Chiang Rai. Buriram travel to Iran to face Esteghlal in their first leg of the AFC quarter finals.

The game of the day proved to be the one at the Thai Japanese Stadium with Bangkok United beating Ratchaburi 4-2. Panupong gave Ratchaburi an early lead but goals from Milos Bugonovic and Paul Ekollo swung the tie back in favour of the Bangkok Angels. Ratchaburi's Ukrit will be having sleepless nights when he looks back at his error for Ekollo's goal. Nevertheless, a Douglas strike helped to erase some of the pain as the four goal first half drew to a close. After the break, Bkk Utd regained the lead through a Anthony Ampaipitkwong header and Ekollo scored a tap-in to make the tie safe in injury time.

Police United won 2-0 in Songkhla to move to within one point of the southern club. Michael Murcy barged his way through the Songkhla defence to opening the scoring in the second half and Pedrinho doubled that with a spectacular long range free kick.

Division 1

Air Force 2-2 Nakhon Pathom Utd
BBCU 2-2 Krabi
Khon Kaen 1-0 Phuket
Siam Navy 3-1 Singh Tarua
Sriracha 3-0 Rayong FC

It's been a horrendous week for Singh Tarua as they lost for the second time in four days. The Klong Toei Army who had made the trip down to Sattahip must have been shaking their heads in disbelief as Siam Navy lambasted Tarua with three goals early in the second half. Kittipong pulled a late goal back for Tarua and they'll be hoping that Trat and Saraburi can do them a favour this evening against Bangkok FC and Nakhon Ratchasima respectively.

The Tarua result might have slightly comforted Air Force after Lesley Ablorh's late equalizer denied them three points. The Blue Eagles could be knocked off top perch this evening if PTT Rayong win at bottom club Rayong United.

It's been a pleasant week for Sriracha after they beat Rayong FC 3-0. Their second home win in four days has lifted the Blue Marlins three points clear of the drop zone. The club were boosted with news that they can now field Chonburi loanees, Irfan Bachdim and Ivan Boskovic. The loss for Rayong FC leaves them in deep trouble.

BBCU and Krabi shared a 2-2 draw in the mid-table battle while Matius Recio was the toast of Khon Kaen again after he netted the only goal in their win over Phuket.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

BBCU 2-2 Krabi

Four goals were shared in the second period as BBCU and Krabi drew 2-2.

There was no sign of BBCU's midweek hero, Bouba Abbo, as the sides lined up, but the sight of 'Bomber' Thanom as the match official suggested it was going to be a lively game.

Within a minute, BBCU could have been ahead, but Nawin couldn't keep his header on target as his effort sailed a couple of yards over the bar.

Krabi then had a couple of chances of their own shortly afterwards. Valci Junior was denied by Pornchai in the fifth minute and Soukhaphone's low drive from the edge of the box hit the base of the post.

The game then lulled until the 37th minute when a 30 yard free kick from Marcio rattled the upright. Seconds later the heavens opened and the fans of the Yellow Blue had to then scramble into the virtually empty covered main stand to their left.

The downpour had eased off by the time the Pink Panthers took the lead two minutes after the restart. A floated free kick from Eduardo Salles found the head of Nawin to open the scoring. The BBCU striker was left unmarked as the Krabi defence were posted missing.

Minutes later, the goalscorer had a good penalty shout knocked back when he was sent tumbling by Ittiphol in the box. By this time, the home side were pressing for a second, and Anusorn had to be alert to tip a Nawin's 25 yard set piece over the bar.

On the hour, Krabi levelled when Jean Michel Liade rose well at the back post to head home Sornchai's cross.

BBCU could have retaken the lead seconds later, but there were no takers after Mongkol had curved an intriguing ball across the six yard box.

Nonetheless, the Bangkok side were back in front midway through the second half when Eduardo Salles curled home a free kick home from inside the D. Anusorn was left rooted to the spot as the Brazilian ran off to celebrate.

Once BBCU had restored the lead, it was just like Wednesday evening's encounter with Singh Tarua all over again as they tried to wind down the clock by wasting time.

Krabi rallied and they were rewarded in the 82nd minute when John Mary equalized with a scruffy goal. In the celebrations afterwards , Ekachai, who had just been subbed, ran over to rejoice with his colleagues. He took his shirt off and was then shown a second yellow card by Thanom. The substituted player was subsequently sent to sit on the naughty step in the front of the main grandstand.

The game finished 2-2 which was probably a fair result. It wasn't a dirty game, but I reckon the yellow card count must have reached double figures. Both sides showed flashes that they could be higher than their mid-table position, yet that's the position where the pair will ultimately finish.

2-2 sending off

Friday, August 16, 2013

FA Cup Draw - Round 5

Buriram Utd v Singh Tarua
Bangkok FC v Bangkok Glass
Police Utd v Chiang Rai Utd
PTT Rayong v Muangthong Utd

Ties to be played on Wednesday 28th August.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Brief Review of Matchday 22


Bangkok Glass 2-0 Samut Songkhram
Bangkok Utd 0-4 Army Utd
Chainat 1-0 Police Utd
Muangthong Utd 3-2 Ratchaburi
Pattaya Utd 4-3 Chonburi
Songkhla Utd 0-0 Buriram Utd
Suphanburi 2-1 Osotspa Saraburi
TOT 0-5 BEC Tero

Muanghtong clawed back another couple of points on leaders Buriram after they beat Ratchaburi 3-2 in a pulsating encounter. Teerasil's headed goal five minutes after the interval was the winning goal. A crowd of 17,416 at the Tinasulanon Stadium watched Songkhla hold Buriram to a 0-0 draw.

The battle for third took a surprising twist when Laksana's 93rd minute goal for Pattaya won a seven goal thriller against neighbours Chonburi. The loss for the Sharks let Suphanburi close to within one point of third spot after they beat Osotspa Saraburi 2-1. That win for Suphanburi brought the end to Osotspa's ten match unbeaten streak.

The Thai equivalent of the "can we play you every week?" chant must have been ringing around the Thai Japanese Stadium as Army trounced nearby Bangkok United 4-0. The win for Army completed a 10-0 aggregate score for their two meetings this season. I'm sure BEC Tero wouldn't mind playing TOT every week either after they smashed them 5-0. Cleiton Silva bagged a treble while recent capture Lucas Goncalves weighed in with a brace.

Elsewhere, Bangkok Glass beat Samut Songkhram 2-0 and Chainat ended a run of four straight defeats with a 1-0 win over Police United.

Division 1

Air Force 3-0 Bangkok FC
Ayutthaya 1-2 Nakhon Ratchasima
BBCU 3-2 Singh Tarua
Nakhon Pathom Utd 1-2 TTM
PTT Rayong 1-2 Trat
Rayong Utd v Rayong FC
Saraburi 2-4 Krabi
Siam Navy 1-1 Phuket
Sriracha 1-0 Khon Kaen

Air Force returned to the summit of the table after beating Bangkok FC 3-0. It was a fiery contest which saw the referee flash his red card on four occasions. The 3-0 win was Air Force's biggest of the season and in time, it could prove to be their most important victory of the season.
The Blue Eagles joy was doubled when they found out that closest challengers PTT Rayong and Singh Tarua had lost. PTT's loss to Trat was their first of the season while Tarua will be glad to see the back of BBCU and in particular, Bouba Abbo, as the Pink Panthers completed the double over Khlong Toei's finest.

Nakhon Ratchasima also capitalised on the failings of the teams above them after they beat Ayutthaya 2-1. Yusuke Kato was yet again on the scoresheet helping the Swatcats close to within five points of Singh Tarua in third. They also climbed above Saraburi who lost 4-2 at home to Krabi.

That loss for Ayutthaya meant they dropped back into the relegation places. Sriracha moved above them and TTM's 2-0 win at Nakhon Pathom moved the hobo club four points clear of danger.

Only 712 souls attended the Rayong derby. Anybody leaving early would have missed Rayong FC's injury time leveller by Piroj. The point does them both little good as they both firmly remain in trouble. It's becoming increasingly likely that Siam Navy could be dropping into the regional leagues after they could only take a point at home to Phuket.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BBCU 3-2 Singh Tarua

BBCU completed the double over Singh Tarua with a 3-2 win at the Royal Thai Army Stadium. Similar to the first match between the pair back in April, it was Bouba Abbo who was the difference between the sides.

Singh Tarua had the better of the early exchanges, but it was the home side that took the lead in the 15th minute. Singh Tarua's right back, Samart, allowed Kittiphop to cut inside onto his right foot, and the pint sized winger then unleashed a rasping shot past Watchara at his near post.

The visitors levelled midway through the half when Ivan Petrovic played in Leandro and the Brazilians flick with the outside of his boot beat Pomchai.

Tarua were certainly in the ascendancy in the opening period, and after the goal Leandro had a free kick and a lobbed effort that went close while Pomchai had to get of his line quickly to block an advancing Ali Diarra.

The tide turned minutes after the interval when Boonyarit's cross from the right found the head of Bouba Abbo to make it 2-1 to the hosts.

After the goal, the Big Bang enjoyed their best period of the game with Watchara doing just enough to smother Kim Woo Chul's shot while Pichit squandered a good opportunity as his close range downward header bounced up and over the bar.

The decisive goal came 20 minutes from time after slack defending from Tarua allowed Abbo to be slipped in down the right hand side of the box.  The former Buriram man produced a neat piece of trickery before slotting past Watchara.

Within three minutes, Leandro gave Singh Tarua hope when he fired a free kick home to reduce the deficit

However, BBCU were to hold out as they whittled the clock down with some stubborn defending and the inevitable calls for treatment of supposedly injured players.

Singh Tarua didn't play too badly and they just need to write this loss off and move on. Air Force's handsome victory over Bangkok FC leaves them still in the promotion places despite the loss. BBCU are too far off the promotion picture and are just playing for pride. Their striker Abbo has always impressed me and I just wonder why he's playing for such an average side.

Man of the Match: Bouba Abbo - The thorn in Tarua's side

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Matchdays 22, 23 & 24 - Preview


Wednesday 14
Bangkok Glass v Samut Songkhram
Bangkok Utd v Army Utd
Chainat v Police Utd
Muangthong Utd v Ratchaburi
Pattaya Utd v Chonburi
Sisaket P-P Chiang Rai Utd
Songkhla Utd v Buriram Utd
Suphanburi v Osotspa Saraburi
TOT v BEC Tero

Saturday 17
Bangkok Utd v Ratchaburi
Buriram Utd v Chiang Rai Utd
Muangthong Utd v Pattaya Utd
Songkhla Utd v Police Utd

Sunday 18
Bangkok Glass v BEC Tero
Chainat v Osotspa Saraburi
Sisaket P-P Samut Songkhram
Suphanburi v Army Utd
TOT v Chonburi

Wednesday 21
Army v Bangkok Glass
BEC Tero v Chainat
Chiang Rai Utd v Muangthong Utd
Chonburi v Suphanburi
Osotspa Saraburi P-P Sisaket
Pattaya v Bangkok Utd
Ratchaburi v TOT
Samut Songkhram v Songkhla Utd

Esteghlal v Buriram Utd (AFC Quarter Final - 1st leg)

The title race is still wide open after Buriram and Muagthong drew at the weekend. Buriram only have two fixtures to fulfill as they travel to Tehran next week for the first leg of the AFC quarter final. In advance of that, they'll make their longest domestic journey of the season down to Songkhla before Chiang Rai come calling at the I-Mobile stadium. Muangthong face three sides currently in the relegation battle with Ratchaburi and Pattaya at home before they head north to Chiang Rai.

The Chonburi v Suphanburi showdown next Wednesday will have a great bearing on who finishes in third. A win for Chonburi would almost wrap up a minimum of a third placed finish. The Sharks will feel they'll have six points for picking prior to this match with away trips to Pattaya and TOT. Suphanburi have a tricky home tie with Osotspa before they welcome Army on Sunday.

Chiang Rai United could be in deep trouble after their next three fixtures. They will miss out on Wednesday because they have Sisaket. They then travel to Buriram and after that host Muagthong. Samut Songkhram also have to sit one out, yet they'll be slightly more optimistic with a home fixture against Songkhla followed by a trip to Bangkok Glass.
Pattaya welcome big brother Chonburi before they travel to Muangthong on Saturday. Their home fixture with Bangkok United appears the easiest on paper, but by then they could be well adrift from the pack. Bangkok Utd will have played two home games against Army and Ratchaburi in advance of their visit to Nong Prue. The Angels will be out to avenge their 6-0 humping against Army earlier in the campaign.

Chainat and TOT must be having a sly look over their shoulders as their second leg form thus far has been poor. TOT have two reasonably tough home fixtures against BEC Tero and Chonburi prior to a trip to Ratchaburi. Chainet also have a brace of home matches with Police Utd and Osotspa Saraburi coming to town. Then the Hornbills travel to the home of BEC Tero.

Division 1

Wednesday 14
Air Force v Bangkok FC
Ayutthaya v Nakhon Ratchasima
BBCU v Singh Tarua
Nakhon Pathom Utd v TTM
PTT Rayong v Trat
Rayong Utd v Rayong FC
Saraburi v Krabi
Siam Navy v Phuket
Sriracha v Khon Kaen

Saturday 17
Air Force v Nakhon Pathom Utd
BBCU v Krabi
Khon Kaen v Phuket
Siam Navy v Singh Tarua
Sriracha v Rayong FC

Sunday 18
Ayutthaya v TTM
Rayong Utd v PTT Rayong
Saraburi v Nakhon Ratchasima
Trat v Bangkok FC

Wednesday 21
Bangkok FC v Saraburi
Krabi v Sriracha
Nakhon Pathom Utd v Ayutthaya
Nakhon Ratchasima v Rayong Utd
Phuket v Air Force
PTT Rayong v BBCU
Rayong FC v Siam Navy
Singh Tarua v Khon Kaen
TTM v Trat

The game with most relevance on the promotion issues in the next few days is Air Force v Bangkok FC. A win for Air Force would reopen a healthy lead on fourth place but a loss would possibly decrease the gap to only two points. The duo then follow up their clash with a couple of challenging fixtures. The Iron Bulls travel to Trat before welcoming Saraburi to Bang Mod. Air Force will be in for a laborious contest when they host Nakhon Pathom Utd and their long trip to Phuket won't be a stroll in the park either.
PTT Rayong will certainly fancy their chances of gathering nine points from their upcoming fixtures while Singh Tarua may boldly be feeling the same way despite having two away trips.

At the bottom, it's make or break for Rayong FC as they'll encounter the three other sides that are currently locked in the relegation placings. Sriracha also have three matches against sides in the lower half of the table and both sides target should be a minimum of six points.

A loss for Rayong Utd in the Rayong derby would leave them in a perilous position with fixtures against PTT Rayong and Korat to follow while Siam Navy have two tough home fixtures before they make the short journey to play the Wild Horses.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kasetsart 3-0 Customs Utd

Kasetsart moved back into the playoff places with a comfortable 3-0 win over Customs Utd.

The opening goal
The first 30 minutes were rather dour. The game livened up when Arlindo lost his marker to head home a corner delivered by Suphan.

The home side improved with Jakkaphan hitting the post and Tanasrich should have done better as the Emerald Nagas took a 1-0 lead into the break.

Both sides were reduced to ten men shortly after the rain soaked interval with Somneuk and Teeradech dismissed after the referee took a belated interest in an off the ball scuffle between the pair.

Shortly before the hour, Chawin outpaced his marker to set up Dion Marc who kept his cool to double the advantage.

Customs pushed men forward to salvage the game, but they were then susceptible to the pacy counters led by Chawin and Dion Marc.

Chawin should have made it 3-0 but he hit the post after Mbella's pacy run.

The third goal came five minutes from time when Dion Marc sprang the offside trap in the centre circle and he rounded the keeper to finish off his unattended run.

The African began showboating and was smashed in the face by Jo's elbow for his troubles. The referee was right next to the incident and astonishingly gave both players a yellow card.

Sunday 11 August Review


BEC Tero 1-1 Suphanburi
Buriram Utd 1-1 Muangthong Utd
Chiang Rai Utd 0-0 Songkhla Utd
Osotspa Saraburi 0-0 Bangkok Glass
Ratchaburi 3-0 Pattaya Utd

The current league leaders and the defending champions had to settle for a point each as they drew 1-1 at the I-Mobile Stadium. Both of the second half goals came from the penalty spot with Osmar Ibanez netting for Buriram and Mario Gjurovski for Muangthong. The draw keeps Buriram three points clear of MTU and the Thunder Castle would win the head-to-head should the duo finish level on points come November.

It was also 1-1 in Minburi between BEC Tero and Suphanburi. Suphot's 83rd minute low drive spared the blushes of teammate Decha after he'd put through his own net.

Ratchaburi continue to pull away from danger after they eased to a 3-0 win over Pattaya United. A Douglas penalty midway through the first half sent the Dragons on their way. Pattaya were reduced to ten men in the 29th minute when Theerayut was given a second yellow card following a rash challenge on Eakarat. Ten minutes after the break Obregon scored from close range to end the contest. The Dolphins miserable day was complete in the 67th minute when Cordero cheekily chipped a penalty to make it 3-0.

Chiang Rai's point in the goalless against Songkhla wasn't enough to lift them out of the bottom three. Worrying times are ahead for the northern club as their next two fixtures are against Buriram and Muangthong.

It was also blank in Saraburi between Osotspa and Bangkok Glass. BG's Amnaj was red carded in the 52nd minute, but Osotspa couldn't press home their man advantage.

Division 1

Khon Kaen 2-2 Siam Navy
Krabi 0-0 Rayong Utd
Phuket v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Rayong FC 0-0 BBCU

The Rayong clubs remain in deep trouble after the pair submitted 0-0 draws. Siam Navy are also still in dark waters after they threw away a 2-0 lead in Khon Kaen. Goals from Chusana and Kojima had the Sattahip club in front, but Recio reduced the deficit before Nakahara Shogo's penalty levelled proceedings 12 minutes from time.

Teco's first match at the helm of Phuket ended successfully with a 2-0 victory over Nakhon Pathom United. Kornprom's first half injury time strike gave the Islanders the lead and Alex rattled home a free kick after the break to secure the three points.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Buriram United 1-1 Muangthong United

The 'Super Big Match' ended honors even with both goals being netted from penalty kicks. Overall a draw was a fair result and it keeps the title race interesting for the majority of the Thai football community.

The first keeper called into action was Visanusak of Muangthong after seven minutes. He punched a whipped in Theerathon free kick into the air as the home side made the brighter start.

Muangthong gradually settled after a nervy first ten minutes and Piyaphon's low 30 yard drive fizzed about a foot wide of the post.

In the 15th minute, Tanasak made a great block as Dagno Siaka was about to pull the trigger yards from the goal after he'd been teed up by Gjurovski.

Five minutes later, it really should have been 1-0 to Buriram when Carmello released Kai Hirano on the left. The Japanese attacker was through on the keeper, but he sliced his shot wide of the target.

Muangthong were aiming most of their attacks down the right flank, and that tactic almost paid dividends in the 31st minute. Teerasil found space behind Theerathon and his cross into the six yard box was headed tamely wide by Piyaphon's well groomed mane. It the player's positions had been reversed, surely it would have been 1-0.

Moments later at the other end, Ri Kwang Chon's attempted clearance with his back to the ball was miscued directly into the path of Berrocal. The recent signing panicked and pulled his shot meters wide of the target. The meek effort from the Spaniard summed up his contribution throughout the match. The Thunder Castle clearly missed the attacking presence of Javier Patino.

The home side were turning up the tempo and Visanusak made a great block to deny Carmelo from seven yards after Suree had pulled the ball back to him. The TPL top scorer was making his return to the side after a spell in the doghouse and it was him who was looking like Buriram's best bet for a goal.

Three minutes before the interval, a 30 yard Datsakorn free kick hit the top of the crossbar as the action crossed back to the opposite end.

It was 0-0 at the break, and it was the guests who had the first effort in the second period. Gjurovski found Thitipan down the right, but yet again the quality of finish was poor as he pulled his shot across the goal.

Muangthong's stand in keeper was certainly a puncher and his failure to catch the ball from crosses was causing his side problems. Osmar Ibanez almost took advantage of one of his fisted flaps, but his shot on the turn was blocked on the line by a cluster red shirts. 

In the 59th minute, Buriram were awarded a penalty when Kai Hirano slipped in Surat. He was bundled over by Artit as he turned in the box. The South Korean whistler pointed to the spot and Osmar Ibanez duly opened the scoring sending Visanusak the wrong way.

Five minutes later, the referee evened things up when he penalised Tanasak for nudging over Mario Gjurovski as he was bearing down on goal. The Macedonian dusted himself down to even matters.

The match was then held up for several minutes as Visanusak received a lengthy spell of treatment that required oxygen. He was eventually replaced by SEA games hopeful Kampol.

The match lost it's way once it resumed with both sides seeming content to settle for a point. There was very little to note in the last quarter as it ended 1-1.

The draw leaves Muangthong three points behind Buriram in the official TPL table having both played 20 games. It should be noted that Muangthong's points haul includes the 2-1 win at Sisaket earlier in the year. So effectively Buriram are six points clear having played an extra game.

Saturday 9 August Review


Army Utd 3-2 TOT
Chonburi 1-0 Bangkok Utd
Samut Songkhram 1-0 Chainat

Saturday's action saw three narrow home victories with the most dramatic coming at the Royal Thai Army Stadium. With 90 minutes played, TOT held a 2-1 lead, but that was wiped out in stoppage time thanks to a Bjorn Lindemann double. Bas Savage had given TOT the lead before Nipol levelled early in the second half. Somchai's 71st minute goal appeared to have won the contest for TOT. Noppol of TOT was ordered off before the late strikes from the German ensured Army remained in fifth place.

Chonburi are only six points behind leaders Buriram Utd after their 1-0 win over Bangkok United. A win for Muangthong over Buriram in the "Super Big Match" today would allow Chonburi back onto the periphery of the title race. Defender Suttinan was yet again on the score sheet with his close range first half goal being the difference between the sides.

It was the same result in Mae Khlong as Prawat's goal on the hour earned Samut Songkhram a vital three points. The 1-0 triumph over Chainat moved Samut Songkhram out of the relegation zone, but that will change if Chiang Rai Utd beat Songkhla Utd later today.

Division 1

Bangkok FC 2-1 Ayutthaya
Nakhon Ratchasima 3-0 Trat
PTT Rayong 1-1 Saraburi
Singh Tarua 4-1 Sriracha
TTM 2-2 Air Force

Wins for Singh Tarua and Bangkok FC moved them closer to the Top 2 after PTT Rayong and Air Force drew.

Bernard Henri's 80th minute goal earned a creditable draw for Saraburi at the PTT Stadium. Kirati had earlier given PTT the lead.

Kouassi Yao Hermann spared Air Force's blushes as his brace grabbed his side a point at TTM. His 84th minute penalty equalizer earned Air Force's first point in three attempts as the Airmen's stuttering form continues.

For the second successive Saturday, Bangkok FC were grateful to Lee Tuck as he scored the winner right at the death. The Englishman had an eventful afternoon. His goal was sandwiched inbetween a penalty miss and a second yellow card in the 96th minute. Antonio Vega's drive gave Ayutthaya a 14th minute lead shortly before birthday boy Olof Watson replied for Bangkok FC. Ayutthaya had Siriwat and Melo sent off before Tuck's spectacular winner.

The Bulligans stay fourth after Singh Tarua beat Sriracha 4-1. It was a slightly flattering scoreline as late goals from Ali Diarra and Narongrit added some gloss to the result. Sriracha would have been disappointed with their flat performance and they'll point to the first half penalty decision as the changing moment of the contest.

Nakhon Ratchasima's 3-0 win over Trat moved them up to fifth place. The Swatcats are in decent form although they may have made their move too late as they have an eight point gap to retrieve on third placed Singh Tarua. A crowd of just over 10,000 braved the monsoon conditions to watch goals from Saruch and two from Yusuke Kato as Trat suffered their third straight loss.

Singh Tarua 4-1 Sriracha

Singh Tarua maintained their promotion drive to the TPL with a 4-1 victory over Sriracha.

The first half was fairly subdued until Umpai was harshly penalised when a cross from Kroekrit appeared to strike his chest. The referee pointed to the spot and Leandro sent Hassachai the wrong way to open the scoring.

An inswinging free kick from Kiatjaroen found its way into the back of the net in the 58th minute. The fact that both Kiatjaroen and Todsapol ran away to celebrate suggests that it was one for the dubious goals panel. The official TPL site credited the goal Kiatjaroen.

A section of the Khlong Toei Army thought that was game over, but Tanet gave the Blue Marlins hope two minutes later when his low free kick crashed through the Tarua wall and past the the weak hand from Watchara in the hosts goal.

Sriracha rarely threatened to level as two late goals sealed the win for Singh Tarua.

Ali Diarra finished of a Kroekrit cross from the left and Narongrit completed the scoring after Leandro had set him up.

A bemused Diego Pishinin was given a second yellow card in injury time as Sriracha finished the match with ten men. 

Singh Tarua weren't quite in full flow, but they'll have gratefully excepted the 4-1 scoreline. They'll have also been pleased to have closed the gap on PTT Rayong and Air Force after both were held to draws. They may be slightly perturbed though that Bangkok FC scored a late winner to win 2-1 for the second successive week.

The 4-1 loss for Sriracha dropped them into the bottom 4, and on this performance, it's hard to see them getting out of their current predicament.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Matchday 21 Preview


Army Utd v TOT
Chonburi v Bangkok Utd
Police Utd P-P Sisaket
Samut Songkhram v Chainat

BEC Tero v Suphanburi
Buriram Utd v Muangthong Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Songkhla Utd
Osotspa Saraburi v Bangkok Glass
Ratchaburi v Pattaya Utd

There is no doubting which match captures all the attention on Matchday 21. Leaders Buriam United host second placed Muangthong United and a victory for the Thunder Castle would have the TPL crown firmly within their grasp. Buriram only have one blemish on their home record this term and that was back on the first weekend of the season when newly promoted Suphanburi earned an unexpected draw.
Muangthong are currently producing their best football of the season after their TPL form stuttered during their disastrous AFC Champions League campaign. Muangthong have Djurovski back from suspension and it wouldn't surprise me if Kawin is thrust back into the starting line-up too.

The games at BEC Tero, Chiang Rai, Ratchaburi and Saraburi will very much play second fiddle on Sunday. It's a shame really as form team Osotspa Saraburi will be looking to Chananan, who is currently on a hot goal scoring streak, to inflict more damage onto Bangkok Glass after they suffered a humiliating 5-0 loss at Police last weekend.
Jhon Obregon has been receiving rave reviews since his recent transfer to Ratchaburi and the "Balotelli of Columbia" will fancy his chances of notching a couple of goals against the worst defence in the league (Pattaya).
BEC Tero stopped the rot last Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Bangkok United and realistically another point from fourth placed Suphanburi would be an adequate return.
The longest trip on the TPL schedule will be undertaken when Songkhla United embark on the 3,500km round trip to Chiang Rai. The Fighting Beetles will begin as favorites after they finally broke their duck at the United Stadium last week with a victory over Chainat.

On Saturday, third placed Chonburi should be expecting to extend their unbeaten run in the league to five when they welcome Bangkok United while TOT will travel to Army hoping to make amends for the 4-0 mauling the suffered in Laksi back in April.

Samut Songkhram have only scored a pitiful 11 goals from 19 matches. Time is running out for Mackerels and three points are vital from the visit of mid-table Chainat.

Division 1

Bangkok FC v Ayutthaya
Nakhon Ratchasima v Trat
PTT Rayong v Saraburi
Singh Tarua v Sriracha
TTM v Air Force

Khon Kaen v Siam Navy
Krabi v Rayong Utd
Phuket v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Rayong FC v BBCU

The Top 6 are all involved on Saturday with two of them clashing at the PTT Stadium. PTT Rayong hit the top of the table last weekend, and they can still boast an unbeaten record in the league. Their opponents, Saraburi, have won their last three games to keep within striking distance of the Top 3.
Air Force have lost their last two matches and have dropped to second position as a consequence. They'll be hoping to get back to winning ways at TTM's nearby temporary home, the Bunyajinda Stadium, before they host Bangkok FC next Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Bulligans welcome Ayutthaya as they play their fifth successive home match while for Singh Tarua's fourth consecutive game at the PAT Stadium, Sriracha will be gracing the away locker room.
Korat's new Japanese coach, Sukao Kambei, has made an impressive start winning his first two competitive fixtures. Their guests Trat have lost their last two and their season is endanger of petering out.

On Sunday, Phuket will unleash new coach, Stefano 'Teco' Cugurra. Regrettably for the Brazilian, the Islanders previous coach, Paniphon Kertyaem, has left their under achieving squad with an eight point gap on third placed Singh Tarua. Teco will need to reignite the magic he produced in 2010 when his Chiang Rai squad produced a flawless late run-in to earn promotion to the TPL.
Rayong FC were pitted against Buriram United in the semi final draw of the League Cup, but they'll need to overlook their upcoming glamour tie for now as three points from BBCU is their immediate priority.
Krabi will be confident of making it three wins in a row when they host Rayong United, and Khon Kaen will harbor similar thoughts when they welcome a Siam Navy side that hasn't travelled well this season.The Sattahip club will be hopeful that new coach Arjhan can lead them to their first away win of the campaign.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Toyota League Cup Semi Final Draw

Ratchaburi v Nakhon Ratchasima
Rayong FC v Buriram Utd

The two-legged ties are scheduled for 18 September and 2 October.
The Rayong FC v Buriram tie will need to be rearranged due to Buriram's involvement in the AFC Champions League.

Edit: It appears that both first legs have been switched to 4 September. 

Sunday 4 August Review


Army Utd 3-2 Pattaya Utd
Chonburi 4-2 Ratchaburi
Osotspa Saraburi 4-0 TOT
Samut Songkhram 1-3 Suphanburi

There were plenty of goals scored on Sunday as Chonburi and Suphanburi both submitted wins to heat up the battle for third place. Chonburi's 4-2 win over Ratchaburi was four days too late for the liking of most Chonburi fans, but it did at least erase some of the pain felt after their league cup exit on Wednesday. Suttinan bundled the ball into his own net before he made amends at the correct end to level. Ajayi set up Kushida and Therdsak to make it 3-1 before scoring the fourth himself in the 88th minute. Cordero's late drive pulled one back for Ratchaburi.

The match between Samut Songkhram and Suphanburi came to life after the break with Boskovic giving Suphan the lead. Watcharapong levelled before the unfortunate Porawat scored an own goal to give Suphanburi the lead again. Former Samut Songkhram favorite Bireme Diouf wrapped up the 3-1 win in stoppage time.

Osotspa blitzed TOT with four second half goals with Chananan claiming a hat-trick. Shipahu added the fourth as Osotspa extended their unbeaten run to nine games.

A Bjorn Lindemann brace helped Army over the line as they beat Pattaya 3-2. The Bangkok side appeared to be heading for a comfortable win as they held a 2-0 advantage at the break. Pattaya fought back and looked to have earned a point when Dyachenko netted the Dolphin's second six minutes from time. However a Lindemann free kick delivered into the box found it's way into the back of the net to move Army up to fifth place.

Division 1

Nakhon Ratchasima 1-0 Air Force
PTT Rayong 2-1 Ayutthaya
Siam Navy 2-2 Sriracha
Singh Tarua 1-0 Rayong Utd

PTT Rayong and Air Force traded places after yesterday's games. PTT moved to the top after they edged out Ayutthaya 2-1. Sorasak's goal for Ayutthaya was the first scored by a visiting team at the PTT Stadium yet it wasn't enough as the Oil Millionaires grabbed two of their own. Adisak got the faintest touch to a free kick for the first while Kirati flicked home a corner for the second. Sorasak was sent off late on for Ayutthaya.

A crowd just shy of 10,000 watched Nakhon Ratchasima beat Air Force 1-0. The away side were reduced to 10 men before Yusuke Kato scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot.

Air Force must be nervously looking over their shoulder as Singh Tarua and Bangkok FC are closing in on them. Singh Tarua beat Rayong FC 1-0 to move back into third spot at the expense of Bangkok FC.

Siam Navy and Sriracha shared the points as the Chonburi derby finished 2-2. Both sides still remain in the thick of the relegation battle.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Singh Tarua 1-0 Rayong United

Mathias Christen struck in first half stoppage time to earn Singh Tarua a scrappy win over Rayong United.

Singh Tarua started with what appeared to be a 4-2-4 formation, but they struggled to get any flow to their play as the first 30 minutes passed by without any incident of note. Leandro possibly had the best chance to score in the opening third, but he miscued a free header wide from six yards.

The game finally burst into life in the 33rd minute when a 30 yard dipping shot from Nithirot hit the crossbar. Singh Tarua then raced up to the opposite end of the park and Kroekrit beat the advancing keeper in a race to the ball, but with the empty net beckoning, the angle was too tight for him as he fired his shot across the goal line.

The decisive strike came in the first minute of first half injury time as Kroekrit played the ball into the box for Christen to slot past the keeper at his near post.

However, the goal failed to ignite any impetus in the home side as Rayong Utd enjoyed a reasonable spell of possession at the beginning of the second half. They had no outlet in the final third so most of their attacks were breaking down as they got close to the Tarua penalty box.

The closest that Tarua came to doubling their lead was just after the hour when Patompat tipped a deflected Ali Diarra header around the post. The keeper injured himself making the save and the game was held up for five minutes as Rayong Utd decided whether or not to sub the keeper. In the end, they didn't. Patompat limped on and so did the game as misplaced passes and poor control continued to be the theme of the match.

Rayong FC made a couple of substitutions in a bid to salvage a point. Saknarin's driven shot forced Watchara to make a sprightly save, and the same player's 25 yard free kick sailed inches over the bar as the 90 minute mark approached.

Byeon Seung Won was given his marching orders deep into injury time for a foul on Leandro. It was embarrassing yet amusing to watch Leandro roll around theatrically and I'm surprised he never injured himself as he was performing his WWE style feigned injury.

It finished 1-0 to Singh Tarua who'll have been pleased with the result but not necessarily the lethargic performance. Rayong United in all honesty were a poor team and I can only see one outcome for them.

Man of the Match: Todsapol Lated

Saturday 3 August Review


BEC Tero 1-1 Bangkok Utd
The draw ended Tero's sequence of defeats while it doubled United's points haul on the road. Anon gave BEC the lead after a scuffed Cleiton Silva free kick landed kindly into his path. However, Bangkok United drew level shortly after the interval when Sompong scored from close range. The Fire Dragons will feel slightly unfortunate not to have won as they were denied twice by the woodwork.

Chiang Rai Utd 2-1 Chainat
The Orange Power finally witnessed a home victory after their favorites edged out Chainat 2-1. Nantawat headed the Fighting Beetles infront, but that was cancelled out ten minutes later when Mbengono Yannick raced onto a long kick from the goalkeeper to level. Choklap's second half winner helped CRU climb above Samut Songkhram and more importantly, out of the danger zone.

Police Utd 5-0 Bangkok Glass
The Pathumthani derby went the way of Police United as they hammered Bangkok Glass 5-0. Michael Murcy was the hero of the day bagging a hat-trick. The defending for all five goals from BG was atrocious as they succumbed to their heaviest defeat of the season. Pokkhao and Felipe Ferreira were the other two scorers for the Crimson Cops.

Songkhla Utd 0-2 Muangthong Utd
A crowd of 19,444 watched Muangthong United win 2-0 in Songkhla.The returning Edvaldo Hermoza gave Muangthong a first half lead and a scrappy Teerasil goal wrapped up the points ten minutes from time. In the official TPL table, Muangthong are now three points behind Buriram having played the same amount of games.

Division 1

Bangkok FC 2-1 Nakhon Pathom Utd
Lee Tuck scored at the death to give Bangkok FC a vital three points. Antonio Pina had given the Bulligans the lead before Cho Kwang Hoon equalized after Renato had his penalty saved. Leslie Ablorh was dismissed five minutes into the second half as Bangkok FC struggled to break down the ten men of Nakhon Pathom. The late winner move Bangkok FC back into third place and they'll be hoping that Rayong United can take something off Tarua later today.

Khon Kaen 2-0 BBCU 
BBCU's early season promotion hopes are now a distant memory and if form doesn't improve, they could get sucked into a relegation scrap. Second half goals from Li Xiang and Matias Recio moved the T-Rex three points clear of danger.

Krabi 3-2 Trat 
Goals from Soukaphone, John Mary and Ekaphan helped Krabi win their second successive match. The defeat for Trat was their second in a row and the White Elephants have fallen nine points away from third place. 

Phuket 1-1 TTM
Phuket fans were again left frustrated as they dropped two points at home to TTM. The Islanders were looking good for the win when Alex headed them in front early in the second period. Alfred Emuejeraye's chip come cross earned TTM a point to move them onto 20 points.

Rayong FC 0-2 Saraburi
Two first half goals from Errol Stevens gave Saraburi victory against Toyota League cup semi finalists, Rayong FC. The defeat for Rayong FC leaves them second from bottom while Sarburi remain in fifth. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bangkok FC 2-1 Nakhon Pathom United

Lee Tuck scored the winner on the stroke of full time as Bangkok FC earned a hard fought win over a gritty 10 man Nakhon Pathom United.

The lingering dark rainclouds over the Bangkok skyline finally opened in Bang Mod 15 minutes prior kick off, and they continued to drizzle over the  72-years Anniversary Stadium for the entire 90 minutes.

The first keeper called into action was the Worawut of the Iron Bulls who had to make a double save from Paulo Renato after Jakkrapong had 'fresh-aired' an attempted clearance.

The home side gradually began to dominate and Rocha dos Santos almost connected to an inswinging free kick from the luminous green boots of Antonio Pina.

Two minutes later, it was a pair of brightly coloured pink boots that grabbed my attention as Tana's curling free kick was unconvincingly smothered by Nakhon Pathom's keeper, Narong.

Orange was the next colour up moments later with Decha drilling a shot across the guest's goal.

The first goal of the afternoon arrived on the half hour when Pina drilled home from inside the box after his shot was too hot for Narong to handle.

Bangkok FC seemed to be thoroughly in control, but within five minutes the away side had levelled. Andre Houma's turn and cross hit Jakkapong on the arm and a penalty was awarded. It was slightly harsh as it was accidental, but under the "letter of the law," the referee probably called it right.

Paulo Renato's penalty was weakly hit and Worawut parried it away, but in the resultant scramble, the ball was cut back to Cho Kwang Hoon to stroke home the equalizer.

The next major incident came four minutes after the break when Nakhon Pathom were reduced to 10 men. Leslie Ablorh was given his marching orders after he kicked out at Jaturong after the BEC Tero loanee had kicked the ball into the former JW Rangsit man as he was lying on the ground. Again, it was a bit soft as Jaturong made a meal of it, but the referee was correct as he's just following the punishment code he's been given.

After the sending off, the guests dug in and Bangkok FC were struggling to profit from their man advantage.

Midway through the second half, the Bulligans switched Lee Tuck from right midfield to striker, and they started to create chances.

Antonio Pina came close on a couple of occasions while Tuck was becoming an increasing threat in the final third. At the other end, Worawut smartly saved a drive from Kiattisak as Nakhon Pathom made a rare venture over the halfway line.

With two minutes remaining, NP almost snatched a winnner after a slip from Jakkapong on the touchline gifted possession to Houma, but his shot come cross was cleared after he'd embarked on a pacy run.

The winning goal was scored seconds after the fourth official had held up the board indicating five minutes of injury time. Antonio Pina ran from the halfway line and his precise pass sliced through the middle of the Nakhon Pathom defence to enable Lee Tuck to slot home the winner.

The relief around the stadium at the final whistle clearly indicated that it had been a hard fought victory for Bangkok FC. The home side weren't at their best and they'll need to improve if they are to make it to the TPL. Nakhon Pathom weren't particularly pretty to watch yet their stuffy resistance almost earned them a point.

Man of the Match: Antonio Pina - A goal and an assist from the centre of the park

Nakhon Pathon score

Friday, August 2, 2013

Matchday 20 Preview


BEC Tero v Bangkok Utd
Buriram P-P Sisaket
Chiang Rai Utd v Chainat
Police Utd v Bangkok Glass
Songkhla Utd v Muangthong Utd

Army Utd v Pattaya Utd
Chonburi v Ratchaburi
Osotspa Saraburi v TOT
Samut Songkhram v Suphanburi

Buriram United get to sit this weekend out as their closest title challengers, Muangthong United, make the long voyage south to Songkhla. Last season, 30,000+ spectators crammed into the the Tinsulanon to witness this fixture and I'm curious to see how many turn up on Saturday. The match also marks the second coming of Rene Deseyeare as head coach of Muangthong, but he'll have to name his first lineup without Super Duper Mario who is suspended. The good news for the Muangthongthani club is that Kawin may finally return in goal following his lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Rene's former club, BEC Tero, are currently enduring a major slump in form with five successive defeats amassed in recent league and cup fixtures. Their upcoming opponents Bangkok United have a woeful away record with only one point collected from eight outings.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Bangkok Glass make the short trip west to neighbors Police United while Chiang Rai Utd will be looking for their first home win of the season when they welcome Chainat to the United Stadium.

Third placed Chonburi lock horns with Ratchaburi on Sunday for the second time in four days. Their League cup tie on Wednesday went the way of Ratchaburi. The match finished 2-2 on the night, but the contest was over by half time after Ratchaburi raced into a 2-0 lead on the night and 3-0 on aggregate.

Suphanburi could climb above Chonburi into third with a victory at Samut Songkhram, but their task won't be helped by playing on the notorious squishy surface at the Samut Songkhram Provincial Stadium. .

The weekend is wrapped up with Army v Pattaya and Osotspa Saraburi v TOT. The Saraburi side are in a rich vein of form and they'll be confident of beating TOT. On paper, Army should beat bottom placed Pattaya, but after witnessing their pitiful midweek effort at Nakhon Ratchasima in the League Cup, I wouldn't tip Army to beat the Thai Tims U11's.

Division 1

Bangkok FC v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Khon Kaen v BBCU
Krabi v Trat
Phuket v TTM
Rayong FC v Saraburi

Nakhon Ratchasima v Air Force
PTT Rayong v Ayutthaya
Siam Navy v Sriracha
Singh Tarua v Rayong Utd

The Top 3 all have Sunday fixtures with Air Force facing the stiffest task. Their two loses this season have come on long away trips and another loss on their long(ish) trip to Nakhon Ratchasima could see them knocked off the top perch. The Swatcats will be guided by Sugao Kambe with the Japanese coach dipping his toes into Thai league football for the first time.
PTT Rayong and Singh Tarua have home matches against lower table opposition and the duo will be expected to collect three points.
The remaining match on Sunday pits two sides from the Chonburi province together with Siam Navy hosting Sriracha. A win for Navy would see them leap above the Blue Marlins as it is becoming increasingly tight at the bottom.

Saturday's matches have a top versus bottom feel to them with Bangkok FC v Nakhon Pathom being the exception. The Bulligans play their fourth successive home match with a win, a draw, and a loss being racked up in their previous three home fixtures. Nakhon Pathom's last three games also mirror that of Bangkok FC with one of each possible outcome achieved.

Phuket and Saraburi are both six points off the final promotion place and this Saturday their opponents are languishing in the relegation zone. Phuket welcome TTM while Saraburi travel to Rayong FC.

Trat who are a point behind Phuket and Saraburi make the journey down south to Krabi. BBCU are a further point behind Trat and a loss at Khon Kaen would effectively extinguish their promotion bid. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Toyota League Cup Last 8 - Results

Chonburi 2 v 2 Ratchaburi (2-3)
First half headers from Prayad and Banluesak had the tie wrapped up as Ratchaburi took a 3-0 aggregate lead into the break. Chonburi at least savaged some second half pride with goals from Kraikitti and Jetsadakorn keeping the contest interesting. Ratchaburi had Jang Gil Hyeok ordered off 18 minutes from time, but the 10 men Dragons held out to progress to the semi finals.

Luk Tapfah 1 v 2 Rayong FC (2-3)
Wacharin's first half solo goal had Luk Tapfah heading towards the last 4, but the Wild Horses staged a second half comeback to win 2-1. Anukorn's 52nd minute free kick levelled the tie on the evening before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Captain Komsak was given a second yellow card following a reckless waist-high kick at one of his opponents. Piroj headed the winner with ten minutes remaining to secure a semi final berth for Rayong FC.

Nakhon Ratchasima 2 v 0 Army Utd (2-1)
A goal in each half helped Nakhon Ratchasima overcome a lackluster Army United. Within seven minutes, Army's first leg lead was wiped out when Yusuke Kato capitalized on slack defending down the right flank to open the scoring. New boy Douglas Lopes was set up by Prompong to score the winner in the second half. Chaiwat and Adison were both dismissed for Army as Korat earned a deserved 2-0 victory.

Udon Thani 1 v 2 Buriram United (1-3)
A full house at the IPE Udon Thani Stadium had to wait patiently for an hour as a massive downpour delayed the kick off. The sight of seeing ballboys trying to clear excess water off the pitch with tables suggested the locals were desperate to get the match on.
An early Adisak strike and a close range goal from Berrocal had the tie won for the cup holders before the regional league side grabbed a late consolation.