Thai League Takeaways – Matchday 23

Issara’s Killer Wasps Continue Excellent Run

Prachuap FC continued their ‘great escape’ on Saturday evening, as they beat Port FC 1-0 at the Sam Ao Stadium. It was the side’s fifth win in their last six matches, and saw them climb out of the drop zone for the first time since last October.

The Killer Wasps looked close to dead and buried when they fired head coach Masami Taki last November. The appointment of Issara Sritaro didn’t inspire much confidence either, with his failure to take Thailand’s U19 national team to the AFC Asian Cup still fresh in the memory.

However, Akira Nishino’s former assistant has now collected 1.78 points per game from his nine outings in charge, second only to Buriram boss Masatada Ishii among currently active Thai League bosses with five games or more.

Muangthong Return to Winning Ways

It has been a frustrating few weeks for Muangthong United. After losing to Khon Kaen United in controversial circumstances, the side failed to hold on to their lead against Chiangrai and saw the Beetles take the coveted fourth place spot.

The pressure was on Mario Gjurovski’s men as they travelled to face Police Tero, at the site of the Serbian boss’ debut game in management last season. Teeraphol Yoryoei opened the scoring in the first half, before goalkeeper Somporn Yos was sent off for handling the ball outside the area just after the restart.

Going down to ten men appeared to further galvanise the side, who managed to double their lead through Henri Anier’s third goal in as many matches. The visitors held on to inflict Tero’s first defeat in seven games and climb up to fifth in the table.

Their cause was helped by Chonburi’s failure to win against bottom-side Chiangmai United, extending the Sharks winless run to five matches. However, Chiangrai United managed to take all three points from their trip to Khon Kaen, keeping them in the top four.

BG Pathum Favourites for Second?

Buriram United have all but wrapped up the Thai League title, with their 2-0 win over Ratchaburi this weekend taking them 12 points clear with just 18 left to play for.

Their cause was greatly helped by the 1-1 draw played out by the sides directly below them, BG Pathum and Bangkok United. The defending champions have been gathering momentum in recent weeks, and now look favourites for second place despite failing to finish the job against their local rivals.

The Rabbits were pegged back in the first half, going a goal down through Chananan Pombuppha and a man down after Diogo Luis Santo was sent off. However, Sumanya Purisai struck against his former club to level the scoring. The visitors were denied a last-minute penalty for a potential Manuel Bihr handball, which was overturned by VAR. Regardless, the result leaves them in pole position to take the runners-up spot.

Samut Prakan Miss Golden Chance

The narrow ray of hope that Samut Prakan City saw after their victory against Port last weekend now looks to have faded, as they failed to beat Nakhon Ratchasima on their own patch on Sunday evening. Kwame Karikari put the visitors in front, before captain Chayawat Srinawong scored the equaliser in the second half.

The Swatcats were under pressure themselves, as four losses in their last five games saw them dragged into the relegation battle. By avoiding defeat the Isaan outfit stayed above the relegation zone, though with only a three point buffer.

Samut Prakan now have six games to make up the five points between themselves and Prachuap in 13th place – something which is likely to be a tall order.

gianchansrichawla

Thai League fan and writer. Editor at Football Tribe Asia. University student.

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