Buriram United, Chiangrai United take Thai League 1 title race to final day of the season

Thai League Buriram

Wins for Buriram United and Chiangrai United in the Thai League 1 on Sunday mean that the winners of the Thai top division will be decided on its final matchday on October 26.

Buriram defeated Port FC 3-1 while Chiangrai overcame PT Prachuap FC 4-1 in the league’s penultimate fixtures. The defeat to Buriram also signalled the end of Port’s dream of a first-ever Thai League 1 title, but they will have a shot at a trophy in next month’s Thai FA Cup 2019 final.

Buriram, starting the day on 54 points, had to defeat second-placed Port and hope that third-placed Chiangrai, level on points with Port at 52, were held to a draw or defeated by Prachuap in order to secure the title before the final day of the season.

Port were the ones who took an early lead against the Thunder Castles as Spanish midfielder made it 1-0 to the visiting side in the 20th minute of the game at the Chang Arena.

However, two goals in two minutes gave the home side a 2-1 lead heading into the half-time break. It was Dutch forward Nacer Barazite who struck first for the defending champions in the 34th minute to restore the parity.

Two minutes later, Thailand international Supachok Sarachat was on target to make it 2-1 for Bozidar Bandovic’s men before Kevin Ingresso made it 3-1 from a freekick in the 71st minute.

Meanwhile, Brazilian forward William Henrique scored a brace as Chiangrai defeated Prachuap 4-1 to put pressure on Buriram on the final day.

After failing to find an opening past the Prachuap defence, Henrique finally opened the scoring for the Beetles in the injury time of the first half at the Singha Stadium in Chiangrai.

Floodgates opened after Prachuap were reduced to 10 men in the 58th minute as Sivakorn Tiatrakul doubled the hosts’ advantage. Henrique added his second in the 64th minute, but Siroch Chatthong pulled one back for the visitors in the 69th minute.

19-year-old Ekanit Panya, who had scored his first goal for Thailand in their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers win over the United Arab Emirates last week, sealed the 4-1 result in the 80th minute.

Buriram will travel to Chiangmai FC while Chiangrai take on hosts Suphanburi FC on the final day of the league. Chiangrai will have to defeat Suphaburi and hope Buriram lose to bottom-placed Chiangmai, whose relegation are already confirmed, in order to lift the title come Saturday.

Buriram have won the Thai top division since times since winning their maiden title in 2008 also lifting the trophy in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, Chiangrai have never won the Thai League 1 before despite winning the Thai FA Cup in 2017 and 2018 and the Thai League Cup in 2018.