Muang Thong continue where they left off
By Kevin Watkin
Champions Muang Thong continued where they left off last season, with a solid win over Army, who have been a bogey team in recent seasons.
Muang Thong United scored a 2-1 win over Army
First half goals from stalwarts Teerasil Daengda and Dagno Siaka made sure of 3 points despite a late goal from Tatree Seeha.
Two other title contenders, BEC Tero & Chonburi squared off at Tero’s new home in Minburi. The hosts got off to a flying start, with two goals in 8 minutes (Amorn Tammanam & Cleiton Silva). Indonesian pin-up boy Irfan Bachdim pulled one back for the Sharks, and another new signing, Ivan Boskovic scored in the 89th minute to ensure the points were shared.
Elsewhere on Saturday, new boys Rachaburi got a point away at Osotspa, Pattaya scored goals in each half at Samut Songkram, and former Wellington Phoenix star Daniel’s ninth minute tap in gave Police three points against another promoted side, Bangkok United.
On Sunday, Buriram had Charyl Chappuis to thank, as the Swiss-Thai player put his corner kick straight into the net. The equaliser saved Buriram ‘keeper Siwarak Tetsungnoen’s blushes, after he’d tamely fumbled Suchon Songwondee’s deflected shot into the net.
Supanburi’s point meant Bangkok were the only new side to lose. A Manop Sorngaew goal was enough for Songkla (formerly Wuachon) United get revenge for a last-day drubbing against Bangkok Glass. TOT got an impressive win in Chiang Rai. However, the feel-good result of the weekend was Si Saket’s draw against Chainat. The first team from Thailand’s rural Northeast to earn a place in the TPL, Si Saket had enjoyed two solid seasons in the top-flight, before politics and backroom deals saw the team moved to Ubon Rachatani, and renamed in 2012 as Esan United.
Si Saket fans campaigned and protested all season, and finally in December, a judge ruled there was enough evidence of forgery for criminal proceedings. After two months of deliberation, the TPL and FAT eventually ruled the TPL licence be returned to Si Saket. Given just 12 days to prepare for the new season, Si Saket fans will be delighted with the point.
Having had the worst defence in the league in 2012, Chainat will be happy with a clean sheet, but will surely see this as 2 points dropped.
BEC Tero 2-2 Chonburi
Osotspa 0-0 Rachaburi
Samut Songkram 0-2 Pattaya Utd
Police Utd 1-0 Bangkok Utd
Muang Thong Utd 2-1 Army Utd
Buriram Utd 1-1 Supanburi
Songkla Utd 1-0 Bangkok Glass
Si Saket 0-0 Chainat
Chiang Rai Utd 1-3 TOT
Relegated from the TPL in 2012, Singh Tarua (formerly Thai Port), overcame promoted Ayutthaya, but only after their hosts were reduced to 10 men after 60 minutes. BBCU opened with a draw, returning to their 2011 home at Army Stadium.
The third relegated side, TTM, who will play in their fourth city in five years, are beset by problems on and off the field. They were dispatched with three first half goals at PTT, and perhaps saved by their hosts being reduced to 10 men just before halftime. TTM’s 2012 squad and coach are threatening to go to FIFA to obtain unpaid salaries, while many of the current squad have refused to train recently after the new coach was sacked and replaced.
As well as Ayutthaya, there were three other promoted sides in action. Rayong FC lost to a late winner against Air Force, though referee Tanom Borikut’s, who was banned from officiating certain clubs last season, is again under scrutiny.
Trat gained a useful point in Khon Kaen, in a match that ended 10-a-side. Rayong United also gained an away point at Sri Racha. Nakon Patom returned from their 2 year ban (for attacking a referee) with draw in Krabi.
BBCU 1-1 Phuket
Nakon Rachasima 1-2 Bangkok FC
Siam Navy 0-1 Saraburi
Ayutthaya 0-2 Singh Tarua
Rayong FC 1-2 Air Force
Khon Kaen 1-1 Trat
Krabi 1-1 Nakon Patom Utd
PTT Rayong 3-0 TTM Lopburi
Sri Racha 2-2 Rayong Utd
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