Southeast Asia Thailand

Bangkok United and Port Alleviate League Struggles With Cup Wins

Gian Chansrichawla

Football Tribe Thailand


Both Port FC and Bangkok United secured their progression to the semi-finals of the 2019 Chang FA Cup last night after both teams dropped two valuable points in their waning challenges for the Thai League title. The two capital clubs will be joined by Buriram United and Ratchaburi in the last four, with the draw set to take place on the 20th of August.

Port hosted a Chiangrai side that had beaten them 4-1 in their last league meeting, but came into the game in a foul mood after losing their top spot in the league to Buriram United on Sunday. The visitors struggled to kick into gear, and it took just 15 minutes for Port to calm the nerves of the home fans, as Sumanya Purisai’s corner deflected in off Tanasak Srisai and into the back of the net.

Typically more defensively resolute, the visitors took only three more minutes to concede a second, when a linkup between Sergio Suarez and Sumanya saw the latter break past a group of Chiangrai defenders and net his side’s second of the game. Things got even better for the hosts five minutes after half time, as Sergio Suarez got on the end of Martin Steuble’s cross with a well-timed header.

Chiangrai got themselves on the scoresheet just two minutes later when both Elias Dolah and David Rochela missed a standard cross into the Port box, allowing Bill to sneak in at the back post. They got a second when Bill earned a hand-ball of Dolah, and the burly Brazilian was able to grab a second from the penalty spot.

The visitors came close to levelling from a free-kick from Siwakorn Taitrakul, but goalkeeper Worawut Srisupha was able to tip the ball onto the post. Their hopes of making it to the semi-finals were effectively dashed when William Henrique received his marching orders for a cynical foul which resulted in a second yellow card. Without one of their brightest creative forces, Chiangrai were unable to find a third, allowing Port to book their place in the semi-final.

Elsewhere, it took until extra time for Bangkok United to beat Nakhon Ratchasima, in a battle between two coaches increasingly battling the pressure for poor form in T1. The deadlock was eventually broken in the 113th minute as Vander Luiz’ near-post shot was parried by Samuel Cunningham into the net. The Brazilian’s late effort keeps the Angel’s hopes of winning a trophy alive and ends a five-game unbeaten run in all competitions which should give them confidence ahead of their return to league action this Saturday.

Buriram were pushed all the way to penalties by a resolute Trat side determined to progress and make their mark in a season where they have already shamed all expectations in the league. The White Elephants raced into a two-goal lead, with Bireme Diouf scoring from a corner a few minutes before half time.

Their lead was doubled when Lonsana Doumbouya managed to muscle his way to the by-line at cut the back for Yuki Bamba, who arrived at the edge of the six-yard box to put the defending T1 champions two behind with 40 minutes remaining.

However, Buriram’s never-say-die attitude roared once again, with goals from Nacer Barazite and Andres Tunez in the 71st and 84th minutes respectively off of well-taken set pieces to take the game to extra time.

Nothing could separate the two teams after extra time, and the tie was eventually decided by spot-kicks. Buriram had the advantage after Chalermsak Kaewsuktae missed his side’s first shot, but things were levelled again when Sasalak Haiprakoh fired over the bar. The game was eventually decided when Napat Thamrongsupakorn missed a sudden-death penalty to send Buriram to the next round.

Lastly, Ratchaburi had a far more straightforward win over T2 side Thai Honda. A goal from captain Philip Roller and a brace from Yoo Jun-Soo was enough to take the side into the next round, although the visitors did have their moment to shine with a goal to temporarily make it 2-1 courtesy of Sihanart Suttisak.