Football Tribe SEA Editor
The Thai League relegation battle rages on as Chainat Hornbill managed to escape the drop zone with a 2-1 away win against PTT Rayong. The hosts have been on an incredible run of four straight wins, taking all three points off Port in their most recent outing.
Chainat were given the chance to take an early lead from the penalty spot; an opportunity that was not wasted by Brazilian striker Ricardo Santos.
The Hornbills were able to defend their lead until the 76th minute when striker Apiwat Pengprakone headed home an equalizer from a well-worked set-piece, which looked to dash the Hornbill’s hopes of coming away with all three points.
However, the game would have another twist deep into stoppage time, as captain and center-back Parinya Utapao managed to score Chainat’s second, getting on the end of a free-kick with a powerful header in the 92nd minute, sending the visitor’s bench into delirium. This result, Chainat’s first win on the road all season, allowed them to climb out of the relegation zone and jump up to 12th position.
In their place, Sukhothai FC drop into the relegation zone for the first time this season after a 1-0 loss to Port. A header from Elias Dolah made the difference between the two sides, with the visitors spurning a number of chances to come away with a respectable point. The side have lost their early-season defensive stability, putting them in real danger and relying heavily on Madascan attacker John Baggio to pull themselves out of their current predicament.
Prachuap have also been sucked into the thick of the race for survival with a surprising 2-0 home loss against Chonburi. The Wasps have used the strength of their home form to keep their head above water, but this loss leaves them in 13th, just three points and one place above Sukhothai in the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, title chasers Bangkok United dropped a further two points in their home match against Nakhon Ratchasima, slipping into fourth place, four points behind league leaders Buriram United. After a goalless first half, Bernard Henry struck a brace to put the Angels in a tough spot. Goals from Chananan Pombuppha in the 80th and Nelson Bonilla in the 83rd minutes pulled the hosts level, but they were unable to break through for a third time despite being given seven minutes of stoppage time to do so.
Lastly, Chiangrai United jumped back up into second place with their 2-1 victory over local rivals Chiangmai FC. Goals from Ekanit Panya and Bill were enough to ensure Evson Patricio’s last-minute strike was nothing more than a consolation goal. This victory put Chiangrai just two points behind Buriram United, who they are set to host in yet another top-of-the-table clash this Wednesday.