What happened across Southeast Asia's major leagues this weekend? Click through to get the latest recaps from Football Tribe's staff in the region!
Matchday 1 of the Malaysia Cup got off to a flying start, with eight games being played, a number of stunning goals being scored and two major upsets!
The most notable result took place on Sunday night as Johor Darul Ta'zim, who were only recently crowned Malaysia Super League champions for the fifth consecutive season, suffered a completely unexpected 1-2 home defeat at the hands of second division side MISC-MIFA (Malaysian Indian Football Association).
The other big upset came courtesy of PKNP, who scored three goals to defeat FA Cup finalists Selangor on their home turf at the Shah Alam Stadium.
Elsewhere, Terengganu travelled to Cheras and smashed five goals past Kuala Lumpur, but Englishman and former Nakhon Ratchasima star Lee Tuck stole all the headlines with a sensational strike from long range and continued to build a reputation for scoring really good goals.
In general, Matchday 1 was a strong reminder that Premier League (second division) teams can be forces to be reckoned with in this tournament. What an explosive start!
Match Week 19 featured two matches of good friendship: Persebaya Surabaya vs. Persela Lamongan, and Arema FC vs Persija Jakarta. The first was won by Persebaya 3-1, while Arema vs. Persija ended in 1-1 draw.
The Arema-Persija match at Kanjuruhan Stadium drew massive crowds: with stands overloaded, some supporters were forced to watch from the track surrounding the pitch. It's not a question of if the PSSI will hand down sanctions to Arema, but of when.
Meanwhile in the top three, Persib Bandung added to their points advantage as they beat Sriwijaya FC 2-0. Persib now are five points ahead of PSM Makassar, who failed to win against Perseru Serui in a 2-2 draw. Barito Putera, who finished the midway point of the season in second place, suffered a heavy 1-5 defeat against Persipura Jayapura.
The standout player in the league at this moment is arguably Addison Alves, who scored two goals for Persipura in his first match after coming back from Persija.
Match-day 26 of the Toyota Thai League 1 was a week of missed opportunity for the big teams, while the race for survival took a dramatic turn once again.
What was expected to be a fierce battle of survival instead turned into a goal bonanza as Bangkok Glass FC thrashed visitors Sukhothai FC 5-1. The home side are now unbeaten in their last four games, notching three straight wins while scoring 11 goals and conceding only twice.
After the match, the spotlight turned to wonderkid Anon Amornlerdsak who produced yet another sublime performance by being involved with all five goals and sparking debate as to why the 20 year old wasn’t part of the Asian Games squad.
On Sunday, third place Port FC welcomed league leader Buriram United in what would become the match of the week. The visitors drew first blood through Diogo Luís Santo's double in the 26th and 31st minutes. The ex-Santos FC and Olympiacos FC striker now leads the scorer charts with 26 goals from 25 games, six more than his nearest competition.
The Port Lions' pulled one back just before halftime and eventulaly equalized after half-Swedish left-back Kevin Deeromram delivered a first-time cross towards Seong-hwan Kim for the South-Korean to head home. Deeromram's positivity could prove to be Thailand’s major outlet in the upcoming tournament.
The game opened up after the equalizer, finishing 2-2 after both sides came agonizingly close to a winner. However both Bangkok United FC and SCG Muangthong United only managed away draws, failing to narrow the gap at the top of the table. With only a handful of games left, it will be exciting to see whether relegation strugglers can play the role of spoiler against the league's top teams.
The V-League was on break this week as the Olympic team's preparations continued for the Asian Games. The team played two games in the Vinaphone Cup, winning 2-1 against Palestine and 1-0 against Oman.
Coach Park Hang Seo will be happy that his side were able to beat two stronger teams, showing strength and discipline at the back. With this momentum, Vietnam can go into the Asian Games and November's AFF Suzuki Cup with confidence, hopefully creating miracles like the one the country's U-23 team produced earlier this year. After the match, Oman's coach described his opponents as the golden generation of Vietnamese football.
This might be true, but it also means that opponents are well aware of Vietnam's development in recent months. They will play against Vietnam team with more respect now, and the Olympic team can expect hard-fought games ahead.