Catch up on the latest football action from South-East Asia over the weekend.
Johor Beat Selangor
Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) managed to beat Selangor at the Shah Alam Stadium last night with a 4-2 scoreline securing three points for the defending Champions. The victory also saw JDT seize the Super League top spot from Kedah. The Southern Tigers have managed to accumulate 13 points, with four wins and a draw from their first five games. JDT goalscorers on the night were Leandro Velazquez, Diogo Luis Santo, and Gonzalo Cabrera.
Kedah Fail To Take Advantage
Kedah had to share their points with PKNS last weekend, as the home side failed to score any goals at the Super League match at the Darul Aman Stadium. Kedah came into this game with his spirits, hoping to win their fourth match after defeating PJ City FC last. However, this defeat has seen them relinquish the league's top spot.
Turning Point for Thai League's Longest-Serving Manager
Not only was Bangkok United's game against SCG Muangthong United the highlight of matchday two, but it was also Mano Polking's 154th in charge of "The Angels", making him Thai League's longest-serving manager. 2018 runners-up Bangkok United splash their cash on a handful of big-name signings, but a loss to Hanoi in ACL and a dull opening day away draw at Sukhothai FC has put manager Mano Polking under pressure. Fortunately for him, there was a huge improvement as his side edged The Kirin to a 1-0 victory. This result is also the club's first home win over Muangthong United, giving them a major boost ahead of what is set to be a season of high expectations. Maybe now, Mano's men could finally get their engine running and kick start their league challenge.
Duopoly in crisis?
After a couple of sub-par preseason friendlies and a disappointing home defeat to PT Prachuap FC on matchday 1, Muangthong United really needed something to go their way last weekend. However, sadly for Muangthong fans, the team didn't turn up on the occasion and suffered a 1-0 lost to rivals Bangkok United. The 4 times Thai League champions now sit 2nd from bottom having yet to register a single goal. But if there's anything to cheer them up, it's the fact that reigning champions and bitter rivals Buriram United are not doing that great themselves. Without star striker Diogo Luis Santo, the Thunder Castle looked toothless as they failed time and time again to find that finishing touch against a solid Suphanburi FC defense. And, for unknown reasons, Buriram'defensece has also become extremely shaky compared to last season, with Venezuela international Andrés Túñez in particular not looking like his usual self. Two draws from two seems like a fair result judging by their overall standard of play.
Hanoi Drop First Points
Despite fielding their strongest possible lineup, Hanoi FC still had many difficulties at Quang Nam. The defending champions let the home team take the lead at the start of the second half, and need to fight for the equalizer, which was eventually scored Hoang Vu Samson at the end of the match.
Viettel Claim First Win
The newly-promoted side registered the first win of the season when they overcame Thanh Hoa 2-1 at home. The goals from national team defender Bui Tien Dung and foreigner Paulo help the team win the three points. Elsewhere, Ho Chi Minh City go top after being the only team to win both of their opening fixtures. The side overcame Hoang Anh Gia Lai on matchday two with goals from Ngo Hoang Thinh and Joel Vinicius.
The Piala Presiden (President’s Cup) 2019 launched in Bandung last Saturday. It is the 4th edition of the competition, which has been held as a pre-season tournament since 2017. It comprises of 20 clubs from Liga 1 and Liga 2 and will serve to keep competitive football going until the league commences. Persija Jakarta are the current title holder of it.
Hosts Persib Bandung failed to kick start the tournament on good terms after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of TIRA-Persikabo. A Nigerian-born naturalized striker, Osas Saha, added his name as the first goalscorer for this year’s tournament and was coincidentally also the first player to earn a yellow card. After Kim Jeffrey pulled the game level, Osas scored his second to take the win TIRA-Persikabo
Meanwhile, in the other match also held in Bandung, Persebaya Surabaya came from behind to defeat Perseru Serui torrid weather conditions. Persebaya were left two down after Nur Akbar and Delvin Rumbino scored in the first half. However, new star striker Amido Balde scored a brace before Manuchekhr Dzhalilov finished the game with a beautiful strike from outside the box in the dying seconds of the game.
On Sunday, 2017 Liga 1 champions Bhayangkara FC smashed the newly promoted Semen Padang FC in Group B. Six goals were scored at Patriot Chandrabaga stadium as Bhayangkara ran out 4-2 winners. Elsewhere, Bali United earned a straightforward winning 3-0 against Mitra Kutai Kartanegara, who have been relegated to Liga 2 ahead of this season.