The new Thai League season kicked off in style, with 23 goals scored across eight games on Matchday 1.
Newly promoted Nongbua Pitchaya emerged victorious on their T1 debut against Nakhon Ratchasima. Fellow new boys Chiangmai United and Khon Kaen United were not as fortunate, losing at home to Bangkok United and Ratchaburi FC respectively.
The remaining five matches all ended in draws, with Suphanburi’s hard-earned point at Buriram’s Chang Arena standing out as a notable result, along with the six-goal thriller between Port and Police Tero.
Defending champions BG Pathum United’s trip to Chonburi also ended in a stalemate, while Prachuap vs Muangthong and Chiangrai vs Samut Prakan City both ended in 2-2 draws.
After the weekend’s action, here is Thai League Central’s team of the week:
Goalkeeper – Patrick Deyto (Suphanburi): One of four goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet this weekend, Deyto earned his at the most difficult ground as Suphanburi managed to stop Buriram from scoring at home – a feat only managed by champions BG Pathum last season.
Defender – Isaac Honey (Police Tero): While Tero’s overall defensive performance left a lot to be desired, Isaac Honey makes this list because of his audacious and spectacular over-head kick goal.
Defender – Suwannaphat Kingkaew (Suphanburi): Given the captain’s armband for their trip to the Chang Arena, Suwannaphat marshalled the defence and helped shut Buriram out despite their dominance of possession.
Defender – Pawee Tanthatemee (Ratchaburi): Pawee marked his first league game as Ratchaburi captain with a fine defensive display, helping his side keep a clean sheet in their 2-0 away victory against Khon Kaen United.
Midfielder – Sergio Suarez (Port FC): The Spanish maestro started this season how he left the last one off, scoring a brace to help the Klongtoei side rescue a point. His first was a well-guided header from just outside the six-yard box, while his second was an excellent swivel and low shot from the edge of the area.
Midfielder – Lursan Thiamrat (Nongbua Pitchaya): The “Mesut Ozil of Thai League 2” (as coined by Tactictimes) proved that he can do it in the top flight as well, showing his deft touch and elegant passing in the middle of the park as the Gamecocks bossed their T1 debut.
Winger – Steeven Langil (Ratchaburi): Langil inspired his side to an impressive opening day win against Khon Kaen United, and scored a stunning solo when he picked up the ball near the touchline and weaved his way through almost the entire team before unleashing a low strike into the bottom corner.
Winger – Lidor Cohen (Nongbua Pitchaya): Another standout performer from Nongbua’s T1 debut against Nakhon Ratchasima, Cohen toyed with defenders down the left flank and registered his first assist, teeing up Hamilton’s second goal.
Forward – Heberty (Bangkok United): After going a goal down in Chiangmai, Heberty took charge of the game and helped Bangkok United turn the match on its head. The Brazilian levelled things up with an excellent first-time effort from outside the box, before scoring the winner 12 minutes from time by skipping past a pair of defenders and unleashing a deadly finish.
Forward – Evandro Paulista (Police Tero): Now at his third Thai club, Evandro marked his debut for Police Tero with two thunderous strikes from outside the box, leaving Port goalkeeper Worawut Srisupha helpless as they flew into the top corner. Stunningly, he scored the first with his right and second with his left, leaving the match commentator to wonder if he even has a weaker foot.
Forward – Hamilton Soares (Nongbua Pitchaya): Hamilton announced himself to Thai football with an impressive brace, displaying his deadly goalscoring instinct. He leaped over the defence to head in the first, before deftly putting away the second on a half-volley with his first touch.