BG Pathum United (BGPU) continued their stay at the top of the Thai League table with a 2-1 home win over Rayong FC. With the colossal clash against Buriram United on the horizon, head coach Dusit Chalermsan decided to rotate his starting XI and as a result, allowed fringe players such as Norshahrul Idlan and Saharat Pongsuwan some valuable game time.
The Malaysian striker is a new arrival at the LEO Stadium but had only played 120 minutes of football prior to his start last Saturday.
Leading the lines against defensive opposition, Norshahrul had little time and space to work with but produced a couple of fine touches to get away from his marker, which earned applause from the home supporters. The 34-year-old looked far more convincing playing as a No.9 rather than out wide where he was fielded against Muang Thong United and PT Prachuap.
Unfortunately, Norshahrul lasted only 61 minutes but that was enough to earn praise from Rayong FC boss Arthur Bernardes who highlighted Norshahrul as one of BGPU’s best players on the night, alongside the 3 centre-backs and left-back Saharat Songsuwan.
“For how I played today, I am happy but unfortunately in the second-half I had to go out after 60 minutes because my leg got cramps,” Norshahrul explained. “But overall I am happy with my performance today. Thanks to my teammates we collected the 3 points today.”
When asked about his relationship with Dusit, Norshahrul said, “For me, coach Dusit is a very good coach. I’m very happy working with coach Dusit – I hope this team can go far after this.”
Danilo Lopes’s deflected shot put the visitor ahead after 10 minutes – ending BGPU’s record of 512 minutes played without conceding from open-play. Defender Victor Cardozo equalized just before the break with a thunderous penalty. Substitute forward Siroch Chatthong would earn BGPU another penalty just 2 minutes from the final whistle, which was converted once again by Cardozo.
BGPU remain on top of the Thai League table for the second week with 19 points from 7 games. Norshahrul and friends are set to face seven-time league champions Buriram United on Saturday October 10th at the LEO Stadium, 19:00 local time.