ASEAN Domestic Wrap: Buriram edge clear in Thailand
Kuala Lumpur: With the majority of leagues across the ASEAN region having finished for the 2019 campaign or are on a break due to the upcoming international fixtures, there was little by way of action over the past weekend.
However, Thai League 1 had a full schedule of midweek games last week, while matches also took place in both Indonesia and the Philippines.
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Buriram United opened up a two-point lead at the top of Thai League 1 after picking up three points against Nakhon Ratchasima last Wednesday, while their nearest rivals Chiangrai United could only manage a 2-2 draw against mid-table PTT Rayong a day later.
But Buriram’s 3-2 away victory over their northeastern rivals gained headlines for Nakhon Ratchasima's ‘double overhead kick’ in stoppage time after both Kitsada Hemvipat and Leandro Assumpcao attempted the spectacular at the same time.
At first glance it is impossible to see who – if not both – connected with the ball. In the end, the former was credited with the goal but it served merely as a consolation as Buriram claimed the win to move clear ahead of the international break.
Elsewhere, Port FC’s 4-0 victory over second-from-bottom Chainat Hornbill means they stay just two points off the summit. With two games to play and Port’s next game away at Buriram, the title race remains a thrilling three-way battle.
At the other end of the table, Chiangmai FC’s position looks bleak following their 2-0 loss to Bangkok United last week. Five points from safety, their relegation will be confirmed if they fail to beat Rayong in two weeks’ time.
With Liga 1 leaders Bali United not in action at the weekend, there was a chance for TIRA-Persikabo to close the gap to nine points, but a 3-0 defeat to Persipura Jayapura last Wednesday ultimately saw them drop from second to third.
Madura United saw off Persib Bandung 2-0 to assume second position but they sit 10 points behind Bali having also played two games more.
Bottom side Semen Padang continued their revival as Brazilian Vanderlei scored with two minutes to play to secure a 1-0 win over Badak Lampung to stretch their unbeaten run in the league to four games, from which they have picked up eight points.
After a 1-1 draw between third-from-bottom Kalteng Putra and second-from-bottom Barito Putera on Saturday, just three points now separate PSIS Semarang in 13th place and Padang in 18th.
After the runaway leaders in the Philippines, Ceres Negros, dropped their first points since the opening day of the season at the end of September, second-placed Kaya FC-Iloilo were unable to capitalise on Wednesday as they played out a scoreless draw with Mendiola.
To make matters worse, Ceres returned to winning ways by seeing off Green Archers United 2-1 to leave them just one win away from retaining their title, while they also continued their quest to complete the season without defeat.
Photo: Buriram United
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