Muang Thong edge close to perfect season

Muang Thong edge close to perfect season

By Kevin Watkin

Muang Thong continued their unbeaten run with a 3-0 home win over Esan. They now need two wins from their remaining five games to clinch the title.

Muang Thong are yet to lose a game this season

Chonburi bounced back from their midweek loss in Iraq in the AFC Cup, to defeat BBCU, although it took them a while to take advantage of BBCU ‘keeper Ekerat Raksa’s 12th minute sending off.

However, once Ekerat was joined by Cho Kwang-Hoon in taking an early shower, the Sharks scored three times to record a 4-1 victory.

Thai Port condemned TTM to League 1 in 2013, as they came back twice before trouncing their hosts. However, Port are still in the relegation zone based on their head-to-head record with Chainat, with whom they are tied on points with four rounds to go.

TTM’s future is unknown, as their relocation to Chiang Mai has failed to engage the community (Saturday’s loss was watched by 520 people, including away fans). Rumours include the club disappearing altogether, or relocating to their 2009 base in Samut Sakon. They had a decent following there, but in the three years since they left, a Second Division club has been formed, and locals may choose to continue supporting that side, as has been the case in Chiang Mai.

In the final Saturday match, TOT came from behind to win at Pattaya despite finishing with 10 men. TOT is now up to the giddy heights of fifth, having been considered relegation candidates earlier in the season. Of course, there are only five points between fifth and 13th, meaning a couple of results can send a team flying up the table, or plummeting just as quickly.

On Sunday, Police continued their quest for survival by running out to a 3-0 first half lead, and eventually winning against Chainat, who finished with 10 men. That result meant Port enjoyed just one night of safety. Cleiton Silva’s hot streak continued for BEC Tero as the Fire Dragons claimed a point at Samut Songkram.

Wuachon accounted for Osotspa, while Chiang Rai got a late winner to see off Bangkok Glass. Buriram raced out to a 3-0 lead after 51 minutes at Army, only to allow the hosts to be back on level terms just 9 minutes later. Army could have gone on to win, but were denied by the woodwork.

Buriram’s slip-up means that Chonburi need just 2 points from six fixtures to seal 2nd place for the 4th time in 5 years.

Chonburi 4-1 BBCU
Muang Thong 3-0 Esan Utd
TTM 2-5 Thai Port
Police Utd 4-2 Chainat
Chiang Rai Utd 1-0 Bangkok Glass
Samut Songkram 1-1 BEC Tero
Army Utd 3-3 Buriram Utd
Wuachon Utd 3-0 Osotspa

Division 1

In the weekend’s big match, leaders Rachaburi were pushed hard at Sri Racha before an 88th-minute winner sealed the three points. The result leaves Rachaburi a win from promotion, which they could get in the midweek round, when the face second-placed Supanburi.

Sri Racha’s promotion hopes took a hit, and they will hope that Rachaburi help them out with a win in that fixture. Sri Racha’s final day clash with Supanburi could well be a straight promotion playoff. Bangkok Utd remain 3rd, thanks to a win over Navy.

PTT’s midweek win kept their faint hopes alive but their upset loss at Rajpracha has surely ended their promotion push. At the bottom of the table, Bangkok FC won a relegation six-pointer to jump up to 11th, while losses for Songkla and Phuket put them in the red zone.

Khon Kaen’s win against doomed Chantaburi was enough to gain them safety for this week, at least.

PTT Rayong 2-0 JW Rangsit

Saraburi 1-1 Air Force Utd
Sri Racha 2-3 Rachaburi
Supanburi 2-0 Phuket
Khon Kaen 1-0 Chantaburi
JW Rangsit 3-1 Songkla
Bangkok Utd 1-0 Siam Navy
Nakon Rachasima 0-0 Krabi
Rajpracha 2-1 PTT Rayong
Bangkok FC 4-2 Patalung

Division 2

The first round of promotion playoffs were played this week. As mentioned previously, 12 teams play in two groups of 6 in a league system, with the winner and runner-up in each group gaining promotion.

In Group A, Southern runners-up Pattani drew 1-1 with Northeastern Champs Roi Et Utd, Paknampo NSRU defeated Pitsanulok 1-0 in a northern derby, and Central Champs Ayutthaya drew 1-1 with Bangkok’s 2nd placed side, Rayong Utd.

In Group B, Bangkok champions Thai Honda were too good for Si Saket Utd of the Northeast (2-0), Central’s 3rd-best team Trat beat Southern champs Trang 3-0, and Central runners-up Rayong FC held off Northern champs Chiang Mai’s comeback, winning 3-2.

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