Buriram United failed to take their second chance to wrap up the Thai League title, as they were reduced to ten men and held to a goalless draw by Khon Kaen United.
The Thunder Castle came into Sunday’s match on the brink of an eighth league crown, needing a win against Khon Kaen and for defending champions BG Pathum to fail to do the same in their home match against Port FC. However, neither result went the side’s way, meaning that Masatada Ishii’s men will have to wait a few more days, and try to seal it at the third attempt.
As expected, the visitors dominated proceedings, but despite the array of attacking talents on the pitch, the side were unable to find their way past the King Cobras defence. Jonathan Bolingi was sent off two minutes before half time for a head-butt on Brazilian defender Alef, doing his side no favours in their quest to wrap up the title.
However, turning the draw into a win wouldn’t technically have been enough to wrap up the title on Sunday night, as BG Pathum United collected all three points against Port FC.
The Klongtoei Lions had the better of proceedings in the first half, causing a number of issues and a major defensive scare for the hosts. However, the Rabbits were able to take the lead through a trademark set-piece, with the rebound coming whipping in from Santiphap Chan-ngom and headed by Irfan Fandi into the back of the net.
The hosts then doubled their lead just three minutes later on the counter-attack, as Ikhsan made headway down the left before making a cut-back which was deflected into the net by Port’s Kannarin Thawornsak. Port managed to pull one back in the second half courtesy of David Rochela, but were unable to complete the comeback.
Both Buriram and BG are in action in midweek, but this time it’s all in the leaders’ hands thanks to their solitary point from the weekend. Regardless of BG’s result against Prachuap, Buriram will be champions if they beat Chiangrai United at the Chang Arena on Wednesday.
Chiangrai themselves will be rueing their missed opportunity at home against bottom side Chiangmai United, who were relegated as a result of the 0-0 draw. However, the result does no favours for the hosts, whose fourth-place spot is now vulnerable to attack from Chonburi, Nongbua Pitchaya and Muangthong, who all have games in hand over the Beetles.
They will be looking to amend their ways on Wednesday, but facing a frustrated Buriram juggernaut eager to cross the finish line will be no easy task.