Sumanya and Cardozo on target as BG clinch first T1 title

BG Pathum United sealed their first ever Thai League (T1) title after defeating Sukhothai 2-0 on Matchday 24.

The Rabbits maintained their unassailable 19-point lead over Buriram United and Port FC as an early goal from Sumanya Purisai and a second-half penalty from Victor Cardozo earned the three points that made history.

There were surprises in the Sukhothai lineup as the talented front pair of John Baggio and Ibson Melo were left on the bench as the relegation-threatened Fire Bats perhaps looked ahead to more winnable matches. Up against the meanest defence in the league, things looked even more ominous for the visitors. However, the hosts opted to keep Diogo Luis Santo as a substitute, four days after he came off the bench to hit a hattrick at Samut Prakan City.

It took just six minutes for BG to open the scoring with an unusual goal. Sumanya Purisai floated in a free kick from the left and the ball seemed to take the slightest of touches off Andres Tunez and wrong-footed Kittipong Phutawchuek in the Sukhothai goal. Both players seem to claim the goal but it was eventually awarded to Sumanya.

In a first-half of few chances, Siroch Chattong fired into the side netting following a determined run, while Chenrop Samphaodi saw a powerful close-range effort pushed wide by Kittipong. 

Diogo came on at half-time and was immediately looking for the second goal, firing a low shot just wide from 20 yards. 

It took until the 70th minute for the home side to get the killer second and really get the title celebrations started. The referee felt that Chenrop had been pulled down in the box and centre-back Victor Cardozo stepped up to fire home his 15th goal of an incredible campaign.

Diogo looked certain to add a third minutes later, but he was denied by a brilliant Kittipong save. Sumanya then came within inches of scoring a fine solo effort but his low shot went just wide. Chaowat Veerachat was the final BG player to come close to the third but his powerful strike was tipped over the bar.

But the final whistle was the cue for celebrations as BG followed up their promotion with a dominant season in the top tier. They have won 21 out of 24 games to date, leaving all of their rivals trailing.

BG will now target an invincible season and the next barrier to that will be their predecessors Chiangrai United, who visit the Leo Stadium on Sunday.

For the next few days, they can just bask in the glory of the incredible achievement of winning the T2 and T1 titles in consecutive seasons. 

Paul Murphy

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