Muang Thong United’s season hit a new low as they were soundly beaten 3-0 by Samut Prakan City on Thai League (T1) Matchday 10.
The four-time champions remain bottom of T1 and a seventh defeat of the season makes them look increasingly like very unlikely relegation candidates.
Port FC continue to lead the way after an impressive win at Chainat, while Bangkok United slipped up on the road yet again.
Here are five things we saw on T1 Matchday 10.
Muang Thong in meltdown
When Muang Thong travelled to Prachuap FC and won 3-0 in the FA Cup two weeks ago, it seemed that they were set to put their poor start of the season behind them.
That was proved to be a false dawn as three goals in 15 second-half minutes ensured that Samut Prakan left the SCG Stadium with three points and ensured that the Kirins would spend at least another week anchored to the bottom of the table.
When Bangkok Glass had a similarly wretched start last year, the assumption was that they would eventually extricate themselves from the mess they had created for themselves. They ended up being relegated.
We are still just a third of the way into the season and Muang Thong are far from isolated but form is such that they cannot be assumed to be too good to go down.
Samut Prakan, meanwhile, continue to impress as they remain in fourth spot after five games unbeaten. To add insult to injury for the Kirins, the top player on Saturday was arguably midfielder Peeradol Chamratsamee, yet another promising young player sold by Muang Thong.
Reffing hell for Bangkok United
Bangkok United were understandably furious after yet another woeful performance from the match officials in their 1-1 draw at Chiang Mai. Two key moments came when the score was already 1-1 after Nelson Bonilla’s opener had been cancelled out by Eliandro.
First, Sanrawat Dechmitr was blatantly taken down by Eliandro’s clumsy challenge when through on goal. It should have been a red card and a penalty but the referee waved play on. Minutes later, Peerapat Notchaiya met a cross with what looked to be his chest and found the net. The goal was disallowed and it wasn’t clear if it was for offside or handball but it was certainly well onside.
Photo credit: Bangkok United
More farcical decisions followed, particularly when Manuel Bihr stopped Eliandro in his tracks with a perfectly timed tackle and was penalised.
Putting the refereeing performance to one side, Bangkok United were also extremely wasteful, with some dreadful distribution in the final third, partly explained by a horrendous playing surface. After falling eight points behind next week’s opponents Port FC, they know that only a victory at the PAT Stadium will do if they want to revive their fading title hopes.
Port breeze past Chainat
Port FC made light of what looked a tricky assignment at Chainat as two goals from Dragan Boskovic put them in control before Nurul Sriyankem came off the bench to net an excellent third.
Port not only maintained their four-point lead at the top but they also went eight points clear of stuttering Bangkok United, who they host next weekend. A victory over the Bangkok Angels would surely put an end to title challenge of Mano Polking’s side.
Photo credit: Port FC
The Klong Toey club have now won five T1 matches on the spin and, with players returning from injury, they are in good shape as we approach the mid-point of the season. At the beginning of the year, most expected Buriram United and Bangkok United to be the main challengers for the title.
Port have certainly ensured that they can be considered genuine contenders.
Xuan Truong takes his chance
Buriram United fans haven’t seen much of Luong Xuan Truong since the first few games of the season, with the Vietnam midfielder usually on the bench. However, with Jakkaphan Kaewprom still injured and Suchao Nuchnum rested, Xuan Truong started the Isaan derby at home to Nakhon Ratchasima and opened the scoring with a wonderful free-kick.
Photo credit: Buriram United
The 24-year-old put in an impressive performance and it would be a surprise if this did not earn him more game time for a side that has been struggling for consistency. Suphanat Mueanta’s late strike put the game beyond the Swatcats and ensured that Buriram stayed well in touch at the top of the table.
Diouf rolls back the years
Trat striker Bireme Diouf may soon be turning 35 but the veteran of many Thai clubs showed on Saturday that he is far from a spent force.
The Ivorian struck in added time to complete his hat-trick and earn a point in a 3-3 draw at Chonburi – one of his many former clubs.
Chonburi continue to alternate between the sublime and the ridiculous in the same game and they have now conceded 12 times in the past three matches but nevertheless picked up four points in that run. The Sharks sit in eighth place while possessing the second-best attack and the worst defence in the league.