Football Tribe SEA Editor
With the climax of the Thai League season fast approaching, many teams remain within touching distance of the top of the table. With no side able to put a solid winning run together, the race remains tight, with every weekend serving up a multitude of talking points across a number of exciting matches. Keep up to date with Matchday 23’s action here:
Port Break 10-Year Barren Run
Port FC beat bitter rivals Muangthong United on home soil for the first time in 10 years, completing an incredible three-peat of victories over the Kirin this season.
Muangthong have been resurgent in recent weeks, winning seven of their last eight games to throw themselves back into the conversation at the top of the table after beginning the second leg of the season in the relegation zone. However, Port have caught a second wind at just the right time, dispatching Chiangrai in the FA Cup before turning up to Sunday’s derby.
With a raucous crowd on their side, Muangthong United coach Alexandre Gama centered his first-half game-plan around controlling the home side’s furious advances, hoping to catch them out on the break when their energy began to wane. After a goalless first half, the visitors began to be more adventurous going forward, only to grant enough space and time for Sumanya Purisai to score his third goal in two games and give his side the opener.
Now chasing the game, Muangthong made a number of offensive substitutions, but none were able to break past the visitor’s rigid defensive shape. Brazilian striker Josimar Rodrigues wrapped up the three points in the dying minutes of the game, powering in an excellent shot from range to atone for an earlier miss and seal the victory.
Buriram Retain Top Spot
Defending champions Buriram United had to contend with a water-logged pitch, a run of six away games in a row and a ban for head coach Bozidar Bandovic when they faced Trat FC last night. Having been taken to penalties by the same side on Wednesday, they were once again forced to leave it late, ultimately needing a goal from Nacer Barazite in the 84th minute to separate the two sides.
The Dutch-Morrocan forward scored after Buriram captain Andres Tunez quickly restarted play from a free-kick, much to the chagrin of the home side, who protested the move by walking off the pitch. However, after a lengthy standoff, the game continued and Buriram saw out the 1-0 win.
Buriram managed to narrowly fend off Chiangrai United, who recovered from their midweek loss against Port by pulling off an impressive 3-0 win over Samut Prakan City and stay within one point of the league leaders.
Youngster Ekanit Panya fired in yet another goal since returning to his parent club to give them the lead just before the break, changing the dynamic of the game. The Beetles, who have been one of the league’s most formidable sides on the road this season, showed their ability to defend a lead once again through the second period.
William Henrique added a second goal just minutes after the restart in a lightning-quick counter-attack and added a third in the 65th minute after robbing the ball off defender Kim Ho-Yeong and skillfully dinking the ball over the stranded goalkeeper.
This is the Sea Fang’s fifth loss in sixth games, as the absence of captain Peeradol Chamratsamee and the lack of strong backup options is beginning to show itself.