Know Your Enemy: Chainese Burn

 

I know what the fans want. Let’s give them what they want. First up, the incredible capitulation of Port’s greatest rivals went in to overdrive in a result reminiscent of the 0-6 annihilation by Prachuap. This time Muangthong let even more unfancied opposition have their way with them, with relegation candidates Chainat sticking 3 goals without reply past the fallen giants of Thai football. Whilst the attacking was pitiful from the last team to unseat Buriram as champs, the defending was absolute filth. Chainat’s first came via a header, with neither the crosser nor the striker particularly pressured by Muangthong’s obliging back line. Then, Korean midfielder Lee Ho passed it straight to a Chainat striker from a freekick, allowing a simple second goal. The third was a real screamer from the first ever Laotian T1 goalscorer Soukaphone, as if you needed another reason to watch the highlights. The main point to be made here has to be about Muangthong’s defence, though. At the moment they’re starting with the hilariously overrated short-arse Adisorn Promrak and the inexperienced short-arse Saringkan Promsupa in central defence. They’re both 5 foot 9. Their full backs are also miserably inadequate for a team with even top half ambitions. Yes they’ve been unfortunate with an injury to their new Korean centre half, but as I warned in my recap of Muangthong’s transfer activity, you need more than that in defence if you’re going to challenge for anything other than relegation.

 

Bangkok United’s woes also continued with another disappointing result against resurgent Chonburi. After conceding two deflected efforts in the first half, it looked as though a Bonilla penalty was going to get them back in to the game, but Lukian struck an absolute beauty on the half volley to restore Chonburi’s two goal cushion. Havenaar got Bangkok back in to the game with a well worked header from a set-piece, but Bangkok were just too lacking at both ends to make the comeback stick. First they gave away a penalty after Saranwat Dechmitr handled on the goal line, then even after Kroekrit missed the penalty, Chonburi were allowed another sitter just minutes later, which eventually found its’ way in via Sithu Aung after Do headed Lukian’s original effort off the line. Bonilla then exemplified Bangkok’s lack of confidence going forward with a wretched header from 6 yards out, meaning that Chonburi win two on the bounce, and Bangkok United look in disarray.

Suphanburi faced their second promoted side this week, with Chiang Mai the visitors. Favourites Suphanburi took the lead through a superbly controlled header from former Port youngster Meechok, but Chiang Mai found a fortuitous route back in to the game as the referee missed a clear handball by Mustafa Azadzoy, who took full advantage with a useful finish. His cross was then mishandled by the stand-in Suphanburi goalkeeper, allowing Eliandro to give Chiang Mai an unlikely advantage. Chiang Mai goalkeeper Nont Muangngam then spent the next 30 minutes showing why he’s the best young goalkeeper in the league, making a string of superb saves to deny Suphanburi the draw they deserved. He’ll have been worth a serious number of points to his team by the time the season is over.

 

 

The game between Samut Prakan City and Ratchaburi followed a similar pattern, although it was striking incompetence rather than goalkeeping excellence that kept the tie in the balance until the last few minutes. With the game poised at 1-1 after goals from Yannick Boli and Chayawat Srinarong, Samut Prakan’s Ibson Melo found a succession of chances handed to him on a plate. First he missed an open goal, then a penalty before finally finding the back of the net with the most difficult chance of the three. Both Melo and the commentators were almost in tears, although for rather different reasons, as Melo ripped off his shirt in celebration as Samut Prakan once again defied expectations to keep their points tally ticking up nicely.

Prachuap too picked up another 3 points, with Matheus Alves scoring a fine solo effort with 20 minutes remaining to separate themselves from Korat, who have also had a better than expected start to the season.

The other two games both ended in 0-0 draws, which will be just fine for PTT Rayong and Chiang Rai, who held Sukhothai and Buriram respectively in their games. No, I didn’t watch either and I don’t plan to, although the word on the street is that Chiang Rai brought out some extra special filth in their neutralization of the champions. I would expect nothing less.

 

Public Enemy Number One

 

 

He’s looking like becoming a regular on my shortlist, so I’d better get it out of the way and give the award to Lukian this time. His half volley was possibly the goal of the weekend, although Soukaphone also hit a screamer for Chainat, and Nont impressed me hugely in goal for Chiang Mai. I don’t like him, but there’s no denying his effectiveness in front of goal, and his importance to Chonburi.

 

Results and Highlights

 

Port 4-1 Trat

Suphanburi 1-2 Chiang Mai

PTT Rayong 0-0 Sukhothai

Samut Prakan City 2-1 Ratchaburi

Buriram 0-0 Chiang Rai

Bangkok United 2-4 Chonburi

Chainat 3-0 Muangthong

Prachuap 1-0 Korat

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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