We still don’t have a winner going into the final game of the season, as Chiangrai managed to stay in contention despite Buriram’s 3-1 win over Port. Elsewhere, two of the three relegation spots have been decided as Chainat joined Chiangmai in dropping down to T2 next season. Gian Chansrichawla and Obb Deewajin recap the weekend’s action:
Chiangrai Did Their Part, But it Wasn’t Enough
At the Singha Stadium, Chiangrai United entertained League Cup champions PT Prachuap FC, who don’t have anything left to play for in the league. Ailton Silva’s side started the game blazing but somehow had to wait until first-half stoppage time to go ahead when Suriya Singmui cross found William Henrique at the far post.
PT Prachuap FC didn’t put up much of a fight, and the Beetles soon doubled their lead in the 57th minute through Thai international Sivakorn Tiatrakul’s trademark freekick. The 25-year-old struck the ball with power, causing it to swerve in mid-air, misleading goalkeeper Kwanchai Suklom.
William Henrique was almost untouchable when he was on his run and bagged his second of the night, a tidy finish into the far post, to put Chiangrai United three goals up.
Moments later, big man Siroch Chatthong pulled one back with a set-piece header. That didn’t matter, though, since the momentum was still with the home side who soon made it 4-1 through Ekanit Panya – rounding off an enjoyable final home game of 2019. The boy wonder, who turned 20 years old on Monday (21st October), celebrated early with a cheeky finish through the keeper’s leg – his 9th goals in his debut season in the top tier.
Chainat’s T1 Journey Comes to an End
There will be no final-day drama for Chainat this time around, as the Hornbills’ relegation was confirmed with a defeat against Korat at home last Sunday.
Dennis Amato’s men, who have performed well above expectations with their limited budget this season, have finally had their reality check and will be returning to the second division next season, quite likely without their manager and a number of the young stars they have brought through during his tenure.
Nakhon Ratchasima took the lead after just 23 minutes when Leandro Assumpcao’s cross was finally turned in by Methee Thaweekulkarn.
After a number of missed opportunities for both sides, including a particularly shocking one-on-one from Bernard Henry, the hosts managed to draw level in the 64th minute courtesy of a towering header from Ricardo Santos. They came close to taking the lead just five minutes later, but Somsak Musikaphan managed to sky the ball over an empty net.
They would come to rue that mistake when Leandro Assumpcao once again showed his class in the 77th minute, skipping past a pair of defenders and squeezing in a rocket of an effort at the near post. Chainat’s relegation was finally confirmed when Amadou Ouattara managed to emerge from a scruffle with essentially the Hornbill’s entire defense, before breaking into the clear and squaring the ball to Leandro Assumpcao to seal the result.