Jaja Coelho stunned Ratchaburi as his late double destroyed the Dragons to give Muang Thong United a 2-1 victory in their Thai League (T1) clash on Wednesday.
The striker has taken time to hit the heights of last season at Buriram United but five goals in three games suggest he is back to his best.
Elsewhere, Chonburi ground out a valuable point to ease relegation worries and young Supachai Jaided struck twice as Buriram United swaggered to victory again.
Here are five things we saw on T1 Matchday 29
- Jaja’s late show leave Dragons in deep trouble
For the fourth consecutive T1 game, Ratchaburi lost 2-1. And this was the third time in four that they had taken the lead.
Nerijus Valskis’ first-half header had put the hosts ahead and, in a game littered with missed chances, it looked like it might be enough to give the Dragons all three points
But Jaja and his team-mates had other ideas. On Saturday, they had overcome a 2-0 deficit to eventually win 4-2 with two late strikes and they would not be denied again.
The Brazilian sidefooted home on the volley in the 84thminute to level the score and then struck the winner in added time after excellent work from Heberty Fernandes.
The Kirins now have a stranglehold on third place, five points clear of Port FC, while Ratchaburi must dust themselves down for a crucial game at home to fellow strugglers Chainat on Sunday.
- Sharks dig deep to earn priceless point
Chonburi pulled six points clear of the relegation spots by doing something that just three other teams have done this season – taking something away at Prachuap.
In a physical battle, the hosts had the better of the early exchanges but the Sharks started to impose themselves at the end of the first half before a much improved second-half performance.
Both sides were without their top scorers as Jonathan Reis was suspended for Prachuap while Matheus Alves sat out through injury for Chonburi.
And the 0-0 scoreline was perhaps due in no small part to the absence of these two strikers.
But a penalty claim for handball in added time ensured a controversial end to the game and Prachuap striker Lonsana Doumboya was convinced his side should have been awarded a spot-kick.
“It was clearly a penalty,” said Doumboya. “But as I have said before, when the Thai League referees reach the same level as the players, we will have a better league.
“There are some exceptional players here but we need the refereeing standards to get to the same level.”
Overall, the Guinean international felt his side had done enough to earn the three points but rued their finishing.
“It was a disappointing result given the chances that we had and our overall dominance,” he said. “We didn’t make the most of our opportunities and we have to get back on track as soon as possible.”
- Buriram’s Supachai strengthens Suzuki Cup claim
Supachai Jaided was the one Thailand player who enhanced his reputation during August’s Asian Games debacle for the U23 side.
Buriram’s 19-year-old striker struck the only two goals for the youngsters, both after coming off the bench.
His club have shown rather more faith in him this year and he showed exactly what he is capable of in the 4-1 win over Sukhothai.
The visitors took an early lead through Nelson Bonilla’s penalty but Osvaldo soon smashed home the equaliser.
Supachai then took centre stage by first ghosting in at the far post to put the hosts ahead and then by winning possession, skipping past a challenge and firing home from over 20 yards out.
Javier Patino added the other goal but it was Supachai who made the biggest impression here.
In a Thailand squad short of goalscorers, Milovan Rajevac must surely have his eyes on Supachai ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
- Bangkok Glass keep Chainat at bay
Bangkok Glass may have been unable to exact revenge for their 5-2 humiliation in the reverse fixture but a 1-1 draw at Chainat was certainly not the worst possible result.
The Glass Rabbits again had Chatree Chimtalay to thank, the 34-year-old striker following up his brace on Sunday with another goal to put the visitors ahead.
It took just two minutes for the hosts to level just before the half-hour mark and neither side could snatch what might have been a hugely significant winning goal. But Anurak Srikerd’s side might be the happier as they stay two points ahead of the Hornbills and four point clear of the drop zone.
Bangkok Glass now host in-form Chiang Rai United while Chainat face a huge game at Ratchaburi with the two sides locked on 35 points, just two points above the relegation zone.
- Port woes continue
Port FC surrendered more ground near the top of the table as they fell five points behind third-placed Muang Thong after a 2-0 defeat at Chiang Rai United.
Phitiwat Sukjitthammakul opened the scoring for the home side with a sweet left-footed shot after just five minutes.
Elias Dolah’s red card midway through the second half gave the visitors a mountain to climb and Bill added the second by drilling home from 20 yards in added time.
The side from Klong Toey have now failed to win in five games, losing three during that run.
They desperately need a victory at home to Nakhon Ratchasima to maintain the possibility of ending the season with a bang rather than a whimper.