Buriram United remain league leaders after Matchday 8, pulling off a 2-0 win over Nakhon Ratchasima despite being reduced to 10 men. Muangthong similarly had to battle with a numerical disadvantage, and managed a last-gasp winner to take all three points from Chiangrai. Bangkok United were able to capitalise, leaping into second place with their win over Chonburi.
At the other end of the table, Khon Kaen United picked up their second win of the season over Nongbua Pitchaya. Chiangmai United took their place at the bottom of the table, after losing 1-0 at home against Prachuap.
Here are Thai League Central’s picks for the week’s standout performers:
Goalkeeper – Peerapong Ruenin (Muangthong United): The Kirin were forced to weather the storm of Chiangrai United’s attacks with 10 men, and their goalkeeper made a number of stunning saves to keep the game scoreless until Willian Popp’s last-gasp winner.
Right-back – Tristan Do (Bangkok United): The 28-year-old put in an excellent performance, with a number of attacking and underlapping runs into the final third, culminating in an assist for the game’s only goal.
Center-back – Lucas Rocha (Muangthong United): After his defensive partner Marco Ballini was sent off after just 14 minutes, Rocha had to marshal the back-line with a numerical disadvantage alongside Chatchai Saengdao, who was carrying a hamstring issue. Despite this, the Brazilian defenders’ efforts saw the Kirin keep a clean sheet and pick up a huge three points against Chiangrai United.
Center-back – Andres Tunez (BG Pathum United): Since the 34-year-old returned to the side, BG Pathum have kept back-to-back clean sheets against Muangthong United and Suphanburi respectively. His vast experience and organisational skills have been crucial in helping the side return to winning ways.
Left-back – Piyaphon Phanichakul (Buriram United): Piyaphon has been a dependable makeshift left wing-back for Buriram so far this season. He got on the scoresheet against local rivals Nakhon Ratchaisma, and helped the side protect their clean sheet despite going down to 10 men.
Midfielder – Yuto Ono (Samut Prakan City): The Japanese midfielder played a crucial box-to-box role in his side’s 2-2 draw with Port FC, contributing both defensively and offensively. He assisted the opening goal from a corner kick, and played a key pass in setting up the second.
Midfielder – Ratchanat Arunyapairot (Suphanburi FC): Despite being on the losing side, Ratchanat impressed in Suphanburi’s game against BG Pathum. His passing and dribbling into the final third helped create chances for his teammates, but unfortunately none were converted.
Midfielder – Chaowat Veerachat (BG Pathum United): Chaowat was once again BG’s primary creative hub, playing in a more advanced position and looking to play the line-breaking killer pass. He got himself on the scoresheet against Suphanburi, admittedly from a lucky deflection, and had a solid all-round performance as the Rabbits picked up back-to-back wins.
Forward – Vander Luiz (Bangkok United): The Brazilian netted the only goal in Bangkok United’s 1-0 win over Chonburi. The strike was his third goal in six games, and helped his side pick up their fourth consecutive win.
Forward – Ibson Melo (Khon Kaen United): Wearing the captain’s armband, Ibson was Khon Kaen United’s talisman and sole goalscorer as they managed a crucial 1-0 home win over fellow promoted side Nongbua Pitchaya and climbed off the bottom spot.
Forward – Tanin Plodkaew (Prachuap FC): The 19-year-old forward came off the bench for his debut with the Killer Wasps, and rewarded his manager’s faith in spectacular fashion. Tanin timed his run into the six-yard box and got on the end of Anawin Jujeen’s cross to score the only goal in Prachuap’s crucial away win over Chiangmai United.