Bangkok Glass eased past Police Tero with a clinical second-half display to take a huge step towards securing their Thai League status for another year.
While the Glass Rabbits were winning at the bottom end of the table, Bangkok United were the big winners near the top as their 10 men beat Port FC 2-1 to pull six points clear of their rivals for the runners-up spot.
It was business as usual at the Chang Arena, with leaders Buriram United winning against Suphanburi but they did get a little help on their way to another three points.
Here are three things that we saw on Thai League Matchday 25:
- Rabbits on the rise
It has long been considered to be just a matter of time before Bangkok Glass click and emerge from the relegation zone to secure their T1 status for 2019.
It has taken longer than anyone would have expected but Sunday’s 3-0 victory at relegation rivals Police Tero was another indication that the Glass Rabbits were coming good at the right time.
After an even first half, Bangkok Glass took the lead through Daniel Toti Rodriguez in the 49thminute before Surachat Sareepim headed in the second with 67 minutes gone. Thitiphan Puangchan crashed home an excellent third to finish Tero off and put Glass into 12thplace.
Anurak Srikerd’s men are now level on points with Sukhothai, who visit the Leo Stadium next week. The Firebats also had a good weekend as they won 2-0 at home to Prachuap FC.
But following six goals in two victories over Muang Thong United and Tero, Bangkok Glass will come into that game full of confidence that they can take another step to winning their unlikely battle against relegation.
- Port blow big chance
Port FC have had a miserable time in games against Bangkok United in the last two years so they understandably approached this game with trepidation.
But Dragan Boskovic quickly settled the visitors’ nerves with a fourth-minute strike against his former club.
The game then really turned in Port’s favour in added time in the first half when United’s full-back Wanchai Jarunongkran was sent off for a last-man foul.
The visitors then proceeded to miss several chances to add a second early in the second half before the home side began to get a foothold in the game again.
Substitute Sumanya Purisai struck a fine solo effort to level the score with just under 10 minutes remaining.
There were further chances at both ends before Pokklaw Anan celebrated his return from injury by driving home the winner from almost 25 yards.
It was a huge lift for Mano Polking’s side, who had endured a tough run of results before last week’s win at Chiang Rai United. Port will turn their attention to Wednesday’s FA Cup quarter final at home to Buriram before facing the same opponents in the same stadium in the league next Sunday.
- Buriram get a helping hand
With a nine-point lead coming into Saturday’s clash at home to Suphanburi, champions-elect Buriram United hardly needed any additional assistance.
However, it was a referee’s whistle that had a huge influence in earning them another three points as they seemingly cruise to their fifth title in six years.
Andres Tunez’s glancing header had given the hosts the lead in just the second minute but the War Elephant kept battling and were rewarded early in the second half as Tanasith Sriphala finished off an excellent counter attack.
Buriram always seem to dig out victories even when they’re not playing well, but this time they had the referee to thank.
With 60 minutes on the clock, Jakkapan Kaewprom launched the ball forward from inside his own half and Diogo Luis Santo gave chase, with two Suphanburi defenders in pursuit.
Suphan Thongsong put in a crucial challenge and took the ball cleanly, only for the referee — very far behind the incident – to blow for a penalty. No VAR was used and Suphanburi were furious as Diogo stroked home the spot-kick.
Buriram will feel some sort of justice was done as Suphanburi escaped punishment for a number of dubious challenges.
The War Elephant dropped into 14th place and they will hope that this questionable decision is not the one that relegates them.
With VAR causing controversy in Muang Thong United’s 2-0 win at Navy FC, it was another weekend when Thai League referees were in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.