FOX Sports Asia brings you a weekly watch on what the stars of Singapore football Zulfahmi Arifin, Gabriel Quak, Hassan Sunny and Baihakki Khaizan are up to both on and off the pitch in Thailand.
Zulfahmi Arifin – Chonburi FC
Things did not go according to plan for Chonburi FC and midfielder Zulfahmi Arifin when they took on Bangkok United FC in the Thai League 1.
At the Chonburi Stadium on Sunday, the versatile Zulfahmi deputised at centre-back but was unable to prevent the Bangkok Angels from racing to a 3-nil advantage in the first half as Putthinan Wannasri, Everton and Sanrawat Dechmitr all scored without reply.
The Sharks, who were determined not to go out with a whimper, clawed one back after the break courtesy of on-loan midfielder Bajram Nebihi in the 51st minute. But any hopes of a Chonburi comeback were extinguished when Bangkok’s Brazilian dangerman Robson restored his side’s three-goal cushion in the 82nd minute. Sharks midfielder Phanuphong Phonsa had the last say on things when he netted a late injury-time consolation as his side went down 4-2 to the title-chasing Bangkok Angels.
Following the defeat, Chonburi retain their position in the top half of the table in ninth. They have 39 points after 30 matches played and second-from-bottom Ubon UMT United FC this coming weekend.
Singapore international Zulfahmi will be eager to make things right again with a win over the Eagles.
If deployed in defence again, the 26-year-old can draw inspiration from his performance in the Lions’ recent 2-0 friendly win over Fiji. Zulfahmi was also deployed in defence, albeit at left-back, in the game and supplied the corner that led to Hariss Harun‘s opener.
Gabriel Quak – Navy FC
Gabriel Quak will be hoping to step up to the starting XI this week against Chiangrai United FC after failing to come off the bench last Sunday.
At the Sattahip Navy Stadium, the Navy no. 22 had to be satisfied with a spot among the substitutes for the visit of PT Prachuap FC. Still, the relegation-threatened club managed to edge themselves ahead when Ivorian winger Amadou Ouattara popped up with a 17th-minute strike.
The lead did not last for long as Killer Wasp’s Guinean dangerman Lonsana Doumbouya hit back with the equaliser just before half-time. There were no more goal action in the second period as the match finished all square for both sides in a 1-1 stalemate.
Navy, who are stranded in the drop zone in 16th position, are scheduled to take on a jubilant Chiangrai United side – who booked their place in the Thai League Cup finals after overcoming Nakhon Ratchasima FC in Wednesday’s semis.
And ahead of the visit to the Singha Stadium, 27-year-old Quak chose to chill on Thursday evening with defender Kim Hyung-il. The Singaporean wing joined his South Korean teammate for a cup of coffee.
In addition, Quak doubled up as the local weatherman-in-residence as he shared a picture of the menacing overcast sky as he preps to make the trip up to Chiang Rai this weekend.
Hassan Sunny – Army United FC
Army United FC missed the opportunity to stay in the top-half of the Thai League 2 table as they fell 2-1 to Kasetsart FC.
Singapore shot-stopper Hassan Sunny started between the sticks for the Gentlemen Rangers, but the Emerald Nagas were the quickest out of the blocks; scoring from a third-minute corner.
The equaliser finally arrived for Army in the second half after Brazilian centre-back Rodrigo Frauches found the back of the net shortly after the second period started. But Kasetsart left it till late to land the killer goal in the 85th minute leaving the Gentlemen Rangers tasting defeat.
As it stands, Army United sit in eighth with 32 points after suffering their 11th league defeat of the season. They host Lampang FC next at the Thai Army Sports Stadium.
34-year-old Hassan looks like a man on a mission in training this week as the Gentlemen Rangers no. 18 will be looking to help his side to a win.
Baihakki Khaizan – Udon Thani FC
On-loan defender Baihakki Khaizan watched his Udon Thani FC teammates overcame Sisaket FC for their eighth win of the Thai League 2 season.
The 34-year-old, who had to settle for a place among the substitute bench, must have been pleased with fellow defensive colleague Satja Saengsuwan as the Thai gave the Orange Giants the lead at the Sri Nakhon Lamduan Stadium last Sunday.
That goal was the only thing separating the two sides going into the second period until the Dangerous Koupreys forced an equaliser through Brazilian Cristiano at the 51st-minute mark. But Udon found a way through the Sisaket’s defence 18 minutes later when midfielder Isariya Marom popped up with the winner for the Orange Giants.
After their 2-1 win, Udon Thani are in ninth place with 31 points. They travel to the Samut Sakhon Province Stadium Saturday to face Samut Sakhon.
Three-time Suzuki Cup winner Baihakki and the rest of the Orange Giants are already in Samut Sakhon with the Singapore international and his teammates gamely posing for a photo with one of their little fans.
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