Chiangrai United have won Thai League 1 for the first time after overtaking defending champions Buriram United on the last day of the 2019 season with a 5-2 win over Suphanburi.
Heading into Saturday’s final round trailing Buriram by two points, Chiangrai knew they had to win to stand any chance of being crowned champions and held up their end of the bargain with a comfortable win over Suphanburi, who were relegated in the process.
Even then, it looked as though Buriram would still be claiming a third consecutive crown as they led 1-0 at Chiangmai courtesy of Nacer Barazite’s 53rd-minute opener.
Narubadin Weerawatnodom was the creator as he nipped in to win possession after a poor touch by Mustafa Azadzoy on the edge of his own area and charged into the box, before unselfishly cutting the ball back to leave Barazite with a simple finish.
But, with just three minutes remaining, Caique got in ahead of opposition goalkeeper Siwarak Tedsungnoen to head home Atthawit Sukchuai’s corner from five yards out to level the scores.
Caique was then sent off for a second bookable offence in the immediate aftermath for removing his shirt while celebrating, although Chiangmai were able to hold out for the draw to end their campaign on a high even though they had already been relegated.
The results meant that both Chiangrai and Buriram finished level on 58 points, but it is the former who finished first due to a superior head-to-head record having beaten the latter 4-0 and drawn 0-0 in their two meetings earlier in the season.