Muang Thong United striker Heberty Fernandes made it a century of Thai League (T1) goals in style as his side struck a huge blow to Sukhothai’s survival hopes.
Sanukran Thinjom’s added-time winner in a 3-2 victory for the Kirins was one of many dramatic late strikes that affected the relegation battle.
Here are five things we saw on T1 Matchday 32.
- Heberty’s hundred helps sink Sukhothai
Muang Thong led through Jaja Coelho’s first-half strike when a moment of magic put the visitors 2-0 up in Sukhothai.
Nelson Bonilla had missed a penalty to put the hosts level when Heberty brilliantly controlled Tristan’s Do ball over the top with a touch that also took out his marker and set himself up for the shot.
He fired low and hard into the bottom corner from 18 yards – an excellent way to bring up his 100.
Photo Credit: Muang Thong United
But Sukhothai hit back and goals from John Baggio and Bonilla – this time successful from the penalty spot – made it look like Muang Thong might be set for a third straight defeat.
Unfortunately for Sukhothai, they failed to even hold on for a point as Sanukran fired high into the net in the 94thminute to leave the Firebats just one point above the relegation zone with two games remaining.
- Valskis leaves Tero on the brink
Ratchaburi’s trip to Police Tero was one of their biggest matches of the year and they certainly looked the better side in the first half.
Their opponents had taken an early lead through Michael N’Dri but Kang Soo-il’s penalty soon levelled the score before the Dragons missed several chances to add to their lead.
But Tero came back into the game early in the second-half and there were several squandered opportunities at both ends before Ratchaburi finally made one of many counter attacks count as Nerijus Valskis found the net to make it 2-1 in the third minute of added time.
Tero now require a hugely implausible sequence of results to stay in T1, while Ratchaburi can seal their place for another year if they win at home to Sukhothai on Wednesday.
- Suphanburi leapfrog Glass
Suphanburi are almost safe after securing a vital 2-0 win at home to Bangkok Glass. The War Elephant made it 10 points from the last four games with strikes from Tanasith Sripala and Chananan Pombupha.
Suphanburi moved to within a point of maintaining their place in the top tier, while Bangkok Glass will hope that Wednesday’s home match against relegated Ubon UMT United will see them moving back in the right direction.
The Glass Rabbits remain just three points above the drop zone so need another victory to more or less seal survival.
- Sting in the tail for Chainat
Buriram United had been the only side to win at Prachuap this year and just two other sides had come away from the seaside town with a point.
These were ominous statistics for Chainat as they travelled south in desperate need of points to lift them out of the drop zone.
But the Hornbills looked set to join the small group of clubs to have left Prachuap undefeated as they entered the 90thminute with the score tied at 0-0.
However, just as they had their own late goals to thank for a dramatic 2-1 win over Muang Thong United last week, Chainat were undone when Jonatan Reis netted two added time penalties for the Wasps, leaving them stuck in the bottom five.
- Sharks out of danger
Chonburi have never looked in serious danger of dropping into T2 but for a long time they have hovered too close to the relegation zone for comfort.
On Saturday, the Sharks had an opportunity to remove any lingering threat of slipping into the second tier when they hosted Nakhon Ratchasima.
Chonburi delivered when it mattered most as two goals from Kroekrit Thaweekarn and one from Worachit Kanitsribampen saw off the challenge of the Swatcats in a 3-1 victory.
The Sharks have gone from title challengers to a mid-table side in the space of a few years but they will be relieved to have retained their top-flight status for another year at least.