Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday 27 October Review


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

Congratulations go to Buriram Utd after their 2-0 success at Bangkok United saw them crowned 2013 TPL champions. Second half goals from Jirawat and Osmar helped them over the line and maintained their unbeaten record this season. Their title victory has been fully merited and only the staunchest of MTU's supporters would beg to differ. While Buriram were toasting their success, Muangthong's fading title bid petered out in Minburi as they drew 2-2 with BEC Tero.

In the relegation scrap, it now seems increasingly likely that it will be Pattaya United taking the drop to Division 1. The reason for their 1-0 loss at home to Chiang Rai Utd was firmly pinned on the shoulders of the referee by the home supporters and the match officials were held in the stadium for two hours as disgruntled fans bayed for his blood.
The win for Chiang Rai keeps them up as did 1-0 wins for TOT and Ratchaburi. Chonburi finally ended a disappointing run of results against Samut Songkhram with a 4-0 victory.
After working out various head-to-head permutations, it appears that Samut Songkhram are the only side that Pattaya can overtake. The Raging Mackerels host neighbors Ratchaburi next Sunday knowing that one point will secure their future while Pattaya must win at Police Utd and hope that Ratchaburi can do them a massive favour.

Division 2 Playoffs

(Group A)

Kasetsart 2-1 Prachuap
Luk Isan 0-1 Roi Et Utd
Nara Utd 3-1 Phitsanulok

Roi Et Utd moved to the top of the group with a tight 1-0 victory at Luk Esan. Erivaldo got the all important goal for the White Squirrels.
Phitsanulok dropped to second after they suffered a 3-1 loss at Nara United. The Kolaks can be thankful to their foreign contingent with Dumaka Francis netting twice and Njobato Abel grabbing the other. Nara's first win moves them onto five points, four behind the top two, and they are joined by Kasetsart after they beat Prachuap 2-1. Jakkaphan's superb volley won the Emerald Nagas their first points and keeps their distant promotion dreams simmering. Things appear bleak for Prachuap and Luk Esan with only two points apiece.

TOT 1-0 Songkhla Utd

TOT made certain of their TPL future for another season with a 1-0 victory over a toothless Songkhla.

From the outset, the team from the south rarely threatened and they can be thankful that goalkeeper Jonathan Matijas produced a fine performance to keep them in the contest.

The Frenchman's first sublime save came in the 8th minute when he tipped a curling Prakit left footer over the bar.

However, a couple of minutes later he was picking the ball out of his net after Juninho slotted home from 16 yards to finish of Ekkachai's cutback.

As the half progressed, Songkhla began to probe but it was to little effect while Juninho's sweet volley on the turn flew inches over the bar.

Seconds after the restart, Matijas again made another fingertip save this time denying Panomkorn's drive from the edge of the box.

TOT continued to dominate and twice defenders cleared goal bound efforts off the line. Matijas also had to be alert on a couple of occasions dashing out of his box to sweep up impending danger.

The closest Songkhla came to scoring came six minutes from time after Weera misjudged a corner. A mad scramble ensured in the box before Bas Savage ushered the ball to safety.

That was all the Fighting Bulls could muster and at the final whistle the majority of the 756 in attendance celebrated as TOT's TPL status was secured for at least another 12 months.

Overall it was a fully merited win for TOT. Songkhla were really poor offensively and they can be thankful that only one team will be relegated this season.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Matijas - Kept his side in the contest

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday 26 October Review

Division 1

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

Results on the penultimate Saturday have set things up nicely for the final day showdown at both ends of the table.
Nakhon Ratchasima's 3-2 victory over PTT Rayong denied the Oil Millionaires promotion. Goals from Dandrai and Prompong gave the Swatcats a 2-0 lead before Pipat pulled a goal back. Prompong restored the two goal advantage before the break while Pipat's second of the day wasn't enough to haul PTT back into the contest.
PTT Rayong will face Bangkok FC in a winner takes all contest next weekend. The Iron Bulls were minutes away from being eliminated from the TPL promotion race but two late goals at home to Krabi gave them a 3-1 victory.
Singh Tarua are sandwiched inbetween the pair and a win at home to Air Force in their last match would ensure them TPL football in 2014 regardless of what happens at the PTT Stadium. Yesterday, they secured their first away win since June with a 3-2 win at Nakhon Pathom. On form Patrick Reichelt added another goal to his recent collection and the ever reliable Leandro weighed in with another brace to ensure the three points headed back to Khlong Toei.

Air Force and Khon Kaen would both have been satisfied with their 1-1 draw at the Thupathemi. The point sealed the championship for the Airmen while the draw secures Khon Kaen's first division status for another 12 months.

Rayong FC are one game away from performing the great escape after they won 3-2 at TTM yesterday. A looping free kick from Chanatphol gave Rayong FC the lead shortly after the interval but it was cancelled out 20 minutes later by Lassana Sidibe. However, the Wild Horses fired back with goals from Anukorn and Suriyakan before TTM grabbed a second right at the death.
The outcome of Rayong's success means it's a three way battle between themselves, TTM and Sriracha for that last relegation place. Ivan Boskovic's spectacular volley appeared to have earned Sriracha an important point but Na Kwang Hyun's 83rd minute header denied them a share of the spoils.
The Blue Marlins host Saraburi in their final game while Rayong FC welcome Nakhon Pathom Utd. TTM make the long journey to Krabi.

Division 2 Playoffs

(Group B)

Chiang Mai 3-0 Udon Thani
Nakhon Nayok 1-0 Paknampo NSRU
Sukhothai 2-3 Ang Thong

Chiang Mai asserted their authority on Group B with a comfortable 3-0 win over Udon Thani. Arnon opened the scoring after half time before an own goal and a Chatchai shot wrapped up a 3-0 win to move the Lanna Tigers three points clear at the top.
Wins for Ang Thong and Nakhon Nayok shook up the pack to keep the race for the second promotion place interesting. Ang Thong produced the comeback of the day after a double from Sirisak had fired Sukhothai into a 2-0 lead. A couple of headers brought the Rice Warriors back into the contest before Tameezee's low shot won the match.
Tomi Bolarinwa was on target as Nakhon Nayok finally kick started their playoff campaign. The 1-0 home win over NSRU brought them their first points and leaves Nakhon Nayok only four points behind second placed Sukhothai.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bangkok FC 3-1 Krabi

Two late goals kept Bangkok FC's TPL dreams alive as they beat Krabi 3-1. With minutes remaining, the Iron Bulls were being held 1-1 but a debatable penalty and subsequent sending off were to be the talking points of the day.

After last week's 3-0 loss at Rayong FC, Bangkok's promotion fate was out of their own hands and there was a sombre end of season feel to the contest as the match kicked off.

It was an even start to the game although it was Krabi who had the early chances with Anuwit and Somkid coming close.

The hosts first real effort came midway through the half when Tawin's drilled left foot shot across goal forced Anusorn to block with his foot.

The same duo were involved three minutes later when the goalkeeper rather recklessly brought down the Bangkok number 22 leaving the referee with the simple decision of awarding a penalty.

Lee Tuck took his trademark stuttered run up for the spot kick but Anusorn dived the right way to block his shot. However, Meedech was the swiftest to react and he knocked in the rebound to give the hosts the lead.

Inspired substitution
Krabi were struggling to get back into the match and they hooked Tanat for John Mary minutes before the break. The former Buriram striker made an instant impact as his rasping shot from the edge of the box landed in the back of the net.

After the interval, Bangkok were applying most of the pressure while the team from the south were looking dangerous on the break.

Tawin's header from a long throw went just over the bar and an Olof Watson shot hit the side netting as the hosts pressed. At the other end, John Mary couldn't connect properly as his shot 18 yards was saved by Worawut and Anuwit blazed over following a quick break.

The Bulligans thought they'd taken the lead shortly after Sam Danquah's arrival but his teasing cross was knocked tantalisingly back across the goal by Watson with the Krabi keeper stood rooted to the spot.

With time running out, Bangkok FC were awarded a debatable penalty. Whether or not Adisak clipped Jutarong is open to discussion, but the reaction of the Krabi players was rather childish. In the rugby scrum that swarmed the man in the middle afterwards, it appeared a slap was aimed at his head and Onuora was shown a red card. After about 15 minutes of heated argument on the touchline, the red card was given to Thaweephong after he appeared to own up. Lee Tuck could finally take his second spot kick off the afternoon and this time the Englishman made no mistake as he sent Anusorn the wrong way to make it 2-1.

Moments later, Bangkok should have had a third penalty but the referee decided to hedge his bets and awarded a free kick on the edge of the box instead. Tuck then gently rolled the ball to Watson and the Swede rifled home into the bottom corner to secure the 3-1 win.

There was double joy at the final whistle for the Bang Mot side when the news filtered through that Nakhon Ratchasima had beaten PTT Rayong. Next week PTT Rayong host Bangkok FC and a win for the Iron Bulls would send them into the TPL. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Matchday 33 Preview



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

First of all, apologies for the lack of updates during the last fortnight. I've just arrived back in Thailand so I'll briefly explain this penultimate weekend's scenarios.

All of the fixtures will start simultaneously in the TPL at 6pm on Sunday. A win for Buriram at Bangkok Utd would confirm them as 2013 champions. A draw or a loss could also claim the title provided Muangthong don't better Buriram's result. With a superior H2H record for the current leaders, Muangthong would need to gain four more points than Buriram to retain their championship.
Below are the current point standings:

72 Buriram Utd
69 Muangthong Utd

At the foot of the table it's so tight with seven sides still in the relegation mix. There are two massive games involving four of the teams in the battle. The winners between TOT v Songkhla would guarantee survival while Chiang Rai could do likewise if they win at Pattaya Utd. A loss would leave the Dolphins in deep trouble and they'd need to pray that TOT and Samut Songkhram lose and that Ratchaburi don't win to keep themselves alive for the final weekend (On H2H, Pattaya would lose to TOT and R'buri but beat Samut Songkhram).
On paper, Samut Songkhram should be second favorites at Chonburi but they might feel slightly self-assured after winning their last three meetings against the Sharks. Ratchaburi will be eager to beat Police Utd at home before their final day derby clash away to Samut Songkhram.
Bangkok Utd aren't mathematically safe, but it would take a unlikely series of results to see them demoted. 

31 Bangkok Utd
29 Samut Songkham
29 Songkhla Utd
28 Chiang Rai Utd
28 TOT
26 Ratchaburi
26 Pattaya Utd

Division 1


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

All of this round's fixtures will be played concurrently at 5pm on Saturday.
Air Force are all ready assured promotion to the TPL and a minimum of a point at home to lowly Khon Kaen would land them the Division 1 title.
A win for PTT Rayong in Nakhon Ratchasima would also reserve their TPL seat for 2014. However a loss coupled with victories for Singh Tarua and Bangkok FC would make the final matchday very interesting. PTT host Bangkok FC while Tarua welcome TPL bound Air Force next weekend.
It would all be over though on Saturday if Bangkok FC fail to win and Singh Tarua are victorious at Nakhon Pathom (Tarua have the better H2H over Bangkok FC).

68 Air Force
63 PTT Rayong
59 Singh Tarua
58 Bangkok FC

If TTM don't lose to Rayong FC on Saturday then that would conclude the first division's relegation issues. Nonetheless, a success for the Wild Horses would drag TTM into a final day showdown with possibly Khon Kaen and Sriracha if their weekend outings prove fruitless. (Sriracha have better H2H with Rayong FC)

35 TTM
35 Khon Kaen
34 Sriracha
30 Rayong FC
23 Rayong Utd

Division 2 Playoffs

(Group A - Sunday)

Kasetsart v Prachuap
Luk Isan v Roi Et Utd
Nara Utd v Phitsanulok

Already at this early stage, it would take a brave punter to back against Phitsanulok and Roi Et Utd moving on up to Division 1. The other four sides have yet to taste victory after three previous attempts.

9 Phitsanulok
6 Roi Et Utd
2 Prachuap
2 Nara Utd
2 Kasetsart
2 Luk Esan

(Group B - Saturday)

Chiang Mai v Udon Thani
Nakhon Nayok v Paknampo NSRU
Sukhothai v Ang Thong

This group is a bit tighter than Group A. Home wins for Chiang Mai and Sukhothai this round would move the duo firmly into the driving seat. Paknampo NSRU visit a Nakhon Nayok side that has yet to break their duck and three points are essential to keep NSRU in the hunt.

7 Sukhothai
7 Chiang Mai
5 Paknampo NSRU
3 Udon Thani
3 Ang Thong
0 Nakhon Nayok

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Upcoming Fixtures

Wednesday 9 October


Samut Songkhram 0-2 Chiang Rai Utd (Last 25 minutes were played at a neutral venue)

Thursday 10 October

International Friendly

Thailand v Bahrain

Friday 11 October


TOT v Suphanburi

Saturday 12 October

Div 2 (Group A)

Luk Esan v Prachuap
Nara Utd v Kasetsart
Phitsanulok v Roi Et Utd

Sunday 13 October

Div 2 (Group B)

Ang Thong v Udon Thani
Chiang Mai v Paknampo NSRU
Sukhothai v Nakhon Nayok

Tuesday 15 October

AFC Asian Cup Qualifying

Iran v Thailand

Saturday 19 October


Chainat v Suphanburi
Osotspa Saraburi v BEC Tero
Police Utd v Chonburi
Songkhla v Bangkok Utd

Div 1

BBCU v Trat
Krabi v Nakhon Ratchasima
PTT Rayong v Phuket
Rayong Utd v Saraburi
Sriracha v Ayutthaya

Div 2 (Group B)

Ang Thong v Chiang Mai
Paknampo NSRU v Sukhothai
Udon Thani v Nakhon Nayok

Sunday 20 October


Buriram Utd v Pattaya Utd
Chiang Rai Utd v Ratchaburi
Muangthong Utd v Bangkok Glass
Samut Songkhram v Army Utd
Sisaket P-P TOT

Div 1

Air Force v Siam Navy
Khon Kaen v Nakhon Pathom Utd
Rayong FC v Bangkok FC
Singh Tarua v TTM

Div 2 (Group A)

Pitsanulok v Luk Esan
Prachuap v Nara Utd
Roi Et Utd v Kasetsart

I'm going to be on holiday for the next two weeks, so I won't have time to write anything. I'll be back in time for the concluding two weeks of the TPL & Div 1 season.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday 6 October Review


Army Utd 2-2 Police Utd
BEC Tero 1-2 Samut Songkhram
Chonburi 3-0 Chiang Rai Utd
Pattaya Utd 2-2 Songkhla Utd
Ratchaburi 2-2 Buriram Utd

Kai Hirano's late goal rescued a point for Buriram United at Ratchaburi. The Dragons obviously hadn't read the script as they took a 2-0 first half lead. Theeraton's sweet chip reduced the deficit before Hirano struck from close range. The point leaves Buriram three in front of Muangthong with three to play.

At the other end, Chiang Rai United are cut four points adrift after their 3-0 loss at Chonburi yesterday. Thiago Cunha headed a second half brace before CRU's Uilian was ordered off 15 minutes from time. Therdsak squeezed one home with virtually the last kick of the match to complete the 3-0 victory.

The two sides closest to Chiang Rai's reach are Pattaya United and Ratchaburi, As mentioned previously, Ratchaburi earned a creditable 2-2 draw with league leaders Buriram United. Pattaya drew 2-2 as well, but they'll have been disappointed not to have beaten an out of sorts Songkhla United in Nong Prue.

Samut Songkhram moved six points from danger after their 2-1 win over BEC Tero. The match was played at Thammasart University due to flooding at Tero's Minburi venue. The Crazy Mackerels came from behind with Guy Hubert scoring one before setting up Phuvanart for the winner.

It also ended 2-2 between Army United and Police United. The match was played in squelching conditions and the draw basically rules out Army's bid for a top 4 finish

Division 1

Air Force 4-1 Sriracha
Nakhon Pathom Utd 0-3 Siam Navy
Nakhon Ratchasima 5-2 Rayong FC
Phuket 1-0 Saraburi

Air Force's 4-1 win over Sriracha leaves them requiring just one more point to reclaim their place in the top flight. The Airmen had their breath taken away as Berlin netted a 4th minute goal for Sriracha. However, close range goals from Supakorn and Anon had Air Force back in control before half time. Jun Uruno and Kouassi got into the act after the interval to make it 4-1. Sriracha's Aumpai was later sent off for striking an AF player in the chest.

Rayong FC's brief Division 1 tenure looks to be coming to an end after they suffered a 5-2 defeat in Korat. The Wild Horses are five points from safety and their remaining three fixtures are Bangkok FC (H), TTM (A) and Nakhon Pathom (H). The result also confirmed that Ayutthaya and TTM are staying up after the pair have endured relegation worries for the majority of the season.

The outcome of the other two matches had no bearing on matters at either end of the table.

Division 2 Playoffs

(Group B)
Nakhon Nayok 0-1 Chiang Mai
Paknampo NSRU 1-0 Ang Thong
Sukhothai 2-0 Udon Thani

Arnon slipped the ball under the keeper in the fifth minute to give Chiang Mai a 1-0 win at Nakhon Nayok. The MTU feeder club had chances to level but it was Chiang Mai who held out for the three points.
Sirisak Musbungo was Sukhothai's hero of the day as his double sunk Udon Thani. The 2-0 win for the Fire Bats means they'll enter matchday 2 as the group's early pace setters.
Ang Thong's keeper was left with egg on his face when the ball bounced off his backside into the net after he'd woefully attempted to punch away a cross. His error cost his side the game as they lost 1-0 at Paknampo NSRU.

Army Utd 2-2 Police Utd

The heavens opened yet again at the Royal Thai Stadium as it finished 2-2.

Aron da Silva twisted and turned in the box before firing home the opening goal in the 20th minute.

It had been relatively dry until then but then it started to piss down and it was becoming increasingly likely that the game would be halted.

It wasn't, and Police drew level ten minutes before the interval when Murcy got a faint touch to knock an inswinging corner delivery over the line.

Lindemann's shot from 16 yards restored the lead in the 59th minute but the away side levelled once more when Paitoon took advantage of a goalkeeping error to stab the ball over the line.

Overall I thought Police United were worthy for a point. The game was entertaining enough but for me it wasn't one for the purists due to the downpour.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday 5 October Review


Osotspa Saraburi 1-3 Muangthong Utd
Suphanburi 1-0 Bangkok Glass
TOT 2-1 Chainat

TOT claimed a much needed three points to end an appalling sequence of results that saw them plummet towards the bottom of the table. Juninho's 30 yard screamer midway through the first half gave TOT the lead before Ekkachai doubled it shortly after the break. Noppol was given a second yellow card late on to reduce Chainat to ten yet Sumanya volleyed home from eight yards for a consolation.

Teerasil was the toast of Muangthong as his hat-trick helped his side win 3-1 at Osotspa Saraburi. His first in the 25th minute was a gift as the Osotspa keeper made a horrendous hash at clearing a backpass. Osotspa were back on level terms before the interval courtesy of Komenan's glancing header. Mui got his second of the day from close range in the 70th minute before he completed his treble in injury time with a fine solo goal.

A crowd of 21,059 watched as Dragan Boskovic's 51st minute penalty separated Suphanburi and Bangkok Glass. The 1-0 win for Suphanburi lifted them above their opponents into fourth place. They are now one point ahead of BG and they have a game in hand.

Division 1

Ayutthaya 2-0 BBCU
Bangkok FC 2-1 Singh Tarua
PTT Rayong 2-0 Krabi
Trat 5-2 Rayong Utd
TTM 2-2 Khon Kaen

Bangkok FC won the much anticipated promotion clash beating Singh Tarua 2-1. Tawin netted twice to ensure that the Iron Bulls climbed over Tarua into third place.
PTT Rayong's 2-0 win over Krabi gives them a four point buffer over fourth place and they need five points from their remaining three matches to claim a TPL berth for 2014. Outtara's 70th minute opener squelched its way through the puddles before Kirati's header wrapped up the points eight minutes from time.

At the bottom, results yesterday gave Rayong United their last rights as only a minor miracle would save them now. The Elephant Warriors would need to win their last three matches and hope that Khon Kaen lost theirs. Also they'd need to hope that Rayong FC didn't pick up more than five points too. Khon Kaen grabbed a point at TTM to move onto 32 which is five points ahead of second bottom Rayong FC.

Phil Stubbins has managed to halt Ayutthaya's slide down the table and yesterday's 2-0 win over BBCU should be enough to move them over the safety line. Sorasak and Nattakorn were on target for the Ancient Warriors.

Division 2 Playoffs

(Group A)
Kasetsart 0-0 Luk Esan
Nara Utd 0-2 Roi Et Utd
Prachuap 1-2 Phitsanulok

Even at this early stage, it already appears that Roi Et United and Phitsanulok are the teams to catch in Group A.
Two second half goals helped Roi Et negotiate a tricky encounter at Nara United. Erivaldo got the first from the spot in 68th minute before Jose Munoz added a second deep into injury time.
Jung Su Oh scored a late winner as Phitsanulok won 2-1 at Prachuap. Saksit had earlier sliced the ball into his own net to give the visitors a first half lead. Khampee did equalize via a penalty kick but it was the Violet Army who were celebrating at the final whistle.
At Kasetsart, the woodwork was to deny both sides as the hosts fought out a 0-0 draw with Luk Esan. Both sides had plenty of chances but they'll need to be more clinical in front of goal if they are to catch Roi Et and Phitsanulok.

Bangkok FC 2-1 Singh Tarua

A Tawin double gave the advantage to Bangkok FC in the battle for the third promotion place as the Iron Bulls beat Singh Tarua 2-1.

The away side had their noses infront coming into the game and it was they who set up with a cagey 4-5-1 formation. The opening half hour was fairly devoid of any action yet it was the hosts, playing with a more traditional 4-4-2 formation, who were more intent on making the breakthrew.

The opening goal came in the 32nd minute when Tawin neatly cut inside his marker and fired home from inside the box. 

Tarua made a double substitution at half time in a bid to bolster their attacking options. However, it was Bangkok FC who doubled the lead in the 57th minute when Lee Tuck slithered his way along the byline before teeing up Tawin to shoot home at the near post.

Within two minutes, Tarua were back in the game after Ali Diarra headed home a Leandro cross after the Brazilain's initial corner had returned to him.

The closest Tarua came to equalizing was a Sarawut header in the 66th minute which landed on the roof of the net.

Unfortunately for the 2,000 plus Tarua contingent, there was to be no fightback as Bangkok FC whittled down the clock fairly easily with a combination of stubborn defending and timewasting. The visitors ran out of ideas and resorted to hitting aimless high balls up to Leandro and Christen.

The 2-1 victory means that Bangkok FC move two points clear of Singh Tarua with three games to play. They only positive from today for Tarua is that they'd hold the better head-to-head record if both teams finished level on points. Bangkok have Rayong FC (A), Krabi (H) and PTT Rayong to finish. Singh Tarua now need to beat TTM (H), Nakhon Pathom (A) and Air Force (H) and hope that the Bang Mod side drop points in one of their three remaining fixtures.

Disappointingly, or somewhat predictably, the end of the game was marred with crowd trouble as both sets of fans were supposed to be paying respect to each other in the traditional Thai way.

Man of the Match - Tawin Butsombat: Match winning double

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Matchday 31 & Div 2 Playoffs Preview


Bangkok United P-P Sisaket
Osotspa Saraburi v Muangthong Utd
Suphanburi v Bangkok Glass
TOT v Chainat

Army Utd v Police Utd
BEC Tero v Samut Songkhram
Chonburi v Chiang Rai Utd
Pattaya Utd v Songkhla Utd
Ratchaburi v Buriram Utd

Back to back wins for Chiang Rai United have drawn TOT, Samut Songkhram, Patttaya Utd and Ratchaburi back into the relegation scramble. For TOT, they face a massive week with two home matches. Chainat come calling on Saturday while Suphanburi are at the TOT Stadium on the following Friday. The Telephone Boys need to end a barren run which has seen them collect only one point from the last 33 available.
Ratchaburi get an immediate dress rehearsal for next month's league cup final with the visit of Buriram United to their home. Pattaya look good for three points as they entertain an ailing Songkhla United while Samut Songkhram would take a point at Tero if it were offered to them now. Likewise, Chiang Rai Utd have a tough assignment at Chonburi and a draw would be seen as an acceptable outcome.

Elsewhere, Muangthong make the trip up to Osotspa Saraburi and a win would ensure them a second placed finish. Suphanburi and Bangkok Glass are battling it out for fourth place and the winner of this will be in pole position to claim a top 4 finish. If Suphanburi lose, they would drop to sixth if Army United can triumph over Police United.

Division 1

Ayutthaya v BBCU
Bangkok FC v Singh Tarua
PTT Rayong v Krabi
Trat v Rayong Utd
TTM v Khon Kaen

Air Force v Sriracha
Nakhon Pathom Utd v Siam Navy
Nakhon Ratchasima v Rayong FC
Phuket v Saraburi

The much anticipated clash between Bangkok FC and Singh Tarua won't decide who goes up, but it will certainly have a large bearing on the final standings. It's definitely more important for Bangkok FC to collect three points than it is for Tarua. A draw might satisfy the Klong Toei side as it would leave them a point ahead of the Irons Bulls with three to play and they'd have a superior head-to-head record should they finish level on points.
A loss for Bangkok FC coupled with an Air Force home win would confirm Air Force's ascendancy into the TPL. PTT Rayong in second will move a step closer to the top flight provided they dispatch of Krabi.

Rayong United's days in the first division are numbered and they would be officially relegated if they lost at Trat and Khon Kaen won at TTM.
Rayong FC need to get over their midweek cup disappointment as they visit the Esan region for the second time in five days. The travel to Nakhon Ratchasima who themselves were knocked out of the cup despite dominating their tie against Ratchaburi.
Two wins and three draws since the arrival of Phil Stubbins at Ayutthaya has eased relegation fears. A win over BBCU would leave them within inches of safety.

Division 2 Playoffs

(Group A - Saturday)
Kasetsart v Luk Esan
Nara Utd v Roi Et Utd
Prachuap v Phitsanulok

(Group B - Sunday)
Nakhon Nayok v Chiang Mai
Paknampo NSRU v Ang Thong
Sukhothai v Udon Thani

The pinnacle of the regional league season begins as the playoffs kick off this weekend. Four sides, the top two from each group, will be promoted to the first division for 2014.
Roi Et Utd will start Group A as favorites but their opening match couldn't be any tougher. They travel to Nara United where they'll be playing in a hostile atmosphere. A point for the White Squirrels would probably be a satisfactory return.
Kasetsart won their last three league games to make it into the playoffs and they kick off against Police United's youth/feeder club, Luk Esan. The Thammasart based club won the Central East region but it's a game that Kasetsart must win if they aim to climb up the leagues.
Prachuap were the front runners for the majority of the season in Central West but towards the end of the season they took their foot of the pedal with only two wins in their last seven matches. Their opponents Phitsanulok are currently 12 unbeaten and will be full of confidence. Apparently, they have the biggest squad budget out of all the teams in this section.

In my opinion, Group B is probably the tougher one to get out of with several strong sides in this pool. Chiang Mai will no doubt be pulling in most of the headlines and they start their campaign at Nakhon Nayok. Similar to Luk Esan, NN were floundering in the regional leagues until a partnership was made with a TPL side. The club they are tied up with are Muangthong United and they can boast a player rota which includes Jorrin John, Tomi Bolarinwa, Matej Rapnik and several Thai youth players from the Nonthaburi club.
Central West winners Ang Thong have been widely tipped to do well. The Rice Warriors finished their league campaign strongly with five successive wins scoring 16 goals in the process. They travel to another much fancied side, Paknampo NSRU.
Sukhothai made it through to the playoffs after negotiating a playoff with Chumpon. They welcome an Udon Thani side who seem to enjoy playing sides beginning with the letter 'S.' They accounted for the scalps of Singh Tarua, Samut Songkhram and Songkhla United in the league cup before they were eventually ousted by Buriram United in the last 8.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

League Cup Semi Final Results

Buriram Utd 5-0 Rayong FC (Agg 5-1)
Nakhon Ratchasima 1-1 Ratchaburi (Agg 1-1 Ratchaburi win on away goals)

It's going to be a repeat of last year's final after Buriram and Ratchaburi both negotiated their semi finals with contrasting performances.

Any thoughts of Buriram not making it to their fourth successive league cup final were quickly erased as first half goals from Hirano, Osmar (penalty), and Anawin null and voided Rayong's 1-0 first leg advantage. Suchao and Jesus Berrocal added second half goals to nail Buriram's place in the final.

In Nakhon Ratchasima, Jhon Obregon's 9th minute breakaway goal for Ratchaburi sent them through to the final. Both sides were reduced to ten men shortly before the interval when Farid and Pralong were dismissed after a clash on the deck.
The second half was one way traffic as Korat battered Ratchaburi. In the 63rd minute, Nakhon Ratchasima equalized when the unfortunate diving Ratchaburi keeper, Chayut, knocked in Chivuta's shot with his head after it had rebounded off the post.
From the remaining 30 minutes, Ratchaburi battened down the hatches as Kato (twice), Chivuta, Yutana (twice) all had great chances to score the winning goal.