Muangthong edge Army; Chonburi fight back

Defending Thai Premier League champions Muangthong United opened their 2013 campaign with a gritty 2-1 win over Army United on Saturday.

Teerasil Dangda, Muangthong United
Gabriel Tan

By Gabriel Tan

Just four days after their recorded an impressive 2-2 draw against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the AFC Champions League, the Twin Qilins got off to a flying start at the SCG Stadium after Teerasil Dangda fired them ahead in the fourth minute, sublimely controlling a left-wing cross before firing into the bottom corner.

Ivorian midfielder Dagno Siaka then made it 2-0 six minutes before the break when he latched onto a neat through-pass by Datsakorn Thonglao and coolly slotted home, and Muangthong looked on track for a comfortable win.

However, Tatree Seeha pulled one back for Army in the 73rd minute when he converted a rebound from close range, but Slavisa Jokanovic's charges ultimately held out for all three points to start the new season in perfect fashion.

Over at the 72-years Anniversary Stadium, Chonburi came from two goals down to hold BEC Tero Sasana to a 2-2 draw.

In a flying start to the game, BEC Tero opened the scoring in the second minute through a clinical strike by Amorn Tammanam, before a comical error from opposition goalkeeper Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool six minutes later saw him race out of his box and miskick a clearance straight to Cleiton Silva, who proceeded to send a 35-yard strike into the unguarded net.

However, Indonesia international Irfan Bachdim, making his Sharks debut, pulled one back in the 19th minute when he poked home a Therdsak Chaiman cross at the far post, before Ivan Boskovic found space inside the area and fired into the roof of the net to cap off a remarkable comeback a minute from time.

To add insult to injury, the Fire Dragons were reduced to ten men in injury-time when Arzu received his marching orders.

Elsewhere, Daniel Lins Cortes scored the only goal of the game in the 9th minute to hand Police United a 1-0 win over newly-promoted Bangkok United, while Osotspa Saraburi and Ratchaburi played out a 0-0 draw at the Saraburi Stadium.

Finally, Pattaya United got their season up and running with an impressive 2-0 away triumph over Samut Songkhram.

Botawee Jeerabunnagit opened the scoring for the Dolphins in the 39th minute, before South Korean striker Jung Ji-soo wrapped things up with a second two minutes from time.

Saturday's Thai Premier League Results

BEC Tero Sasana 2-2 Chonburi

Osotspa Saraburi 0-0 Ratchaburi

Samut Songkhram 0-2 Pattaya United

Muangthong United 2-1 Army United

Police United 1-0 Bangkok United

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