All Square in Top-Four Six Pointer
Neither Muangthong nor Chiangrai were able to take their chances in Sunday’s evening’s clash, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
With a place in the top four on the line, both sides desperately wanted to win, but neither could afford to let the other take full points. The result was a tight and cagey affair in the first half, with Muangthong dominating possession but Chiangrai creating the better of the chances on the counter-attack.
The deadlock was broken in the 64th minute when Weerathep Pomphan’s through ball picked out Boontawee Thepwong’s ambitious forward run into the opponents’ penalty area. He laid the ball across for Henri Anier, who was at full stretch to score his first goal in front of the Kirins’ home supporters.
However, Brazilian forward Getterson was on hand to level the scoring just six minutes from time, as he got the better of Muangthong’s attempted offside trap before calmly dribbling around Somporn Yos and slotting the ball into the net.
This result means that Chiangrai retain their place in the top four, while their hosts are two places and two points behind them in 6th place.
Teguramori’s BG Climb to Second
Makoto Teguramori became the fourth coach to grace the home dugout at BG’s LEO Stadium this season, as he replaced interim boss Surachai Jaturapatarapong in time for the side’s match against Suphanburi. However, the former Vegalta Sendai boss became the first to deviate from the side’s trusted back three formation which saw them win the title comfortably last season.
The ‘Tegu Era’ in Rangsit got off to a flying start thanks to veteran striker Diogo Luis Santo, who arrived at the back post to break the deadlock in the 50th minute before sealing the deal with a penalty in stoppage time. As a result, BG climbed into the top two for the first time since the second week of the season.
The side’s cause was helped by Bangkok United’s failure to win once again. Ten-man Chonburi struck in stoppage time, as Yoo Byung-Soo’s attempt was deflected over the line by defender Everton Goncalves, cancelling out Heberty’s earlier penalty.
However, the Rabbits are still a full ten points behind league leaders Buriram, who look almost certain to win their first league title after back-to-back years in the wilderness. Their 3-0 win over Nakhon Ratchasima this week showed they have no intention of slowing down.
BG could still secure automatic qualification to the AFC Champions League assuming that Buriram go all the way in the FA Cup as well, with their bout against Bangkok United next week set to be decisive in this particular race.
Is There Time for a Samut Prakan City Revival?
Samut Prakan City’s 2-0 win over Port FC was their first win since last October, and arguably their best performance under new coach Yasushi Yoshida. The side went ahead thanks to goals from Chayawat Srinawong and Chaiyawat Buran, before the hosts had both Sergio Suarez and Adisorn Promrak sent off, making a comeback unlikely.
Having failed to score in each of their last six matches, these two goals on the road will be a huge confidence boost to the side. However, they remain four points clear of safety with just seven games left to play. Some fear that it may be too late for the Sea Fang to turn things around; they will likely need to take full points from their next match, a home game against fellow strugglers Nakhon Ratchasima, to prove the doubters wrong on that front.
Their hopes of clinching a survival spot were hurt by Prachuap’s 2-1 comeback victory over Chiangmai United on Friday evening. The Killer Wasps went a goal down in the first half thanks to a Tosapol Lated header, but turned the game on its head thanks to strikes from Seeket Madputeh and Willian Mota. The result means that Prachuap haven’t lost in their last five league outings, an excellent run for Issara Sritaro’s side.
Elsewhere, Bruno Pereira’s soaring start to life as Ratchaburi head coach came to an end with their 0-0 draw with a resolute Police Tero, who themselves haven’t been beaten in seven league outings (though six have ended in draws). Lastly, Nongbua Pitchaya climbed up to seventh place after beating fellow promoted side Khon Kaen United, with the only goal of the game coming courtesy of Hamilton Soares.