FOX Sports Asia brings you a weekly watch on what the stars of Singapore football Zulfahmi Arifin, Gabriel Quak, Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud and Baihakki Khaizan are up to both on and off the pitch in Thailand.
Zulfahmi Arifin – Chonburi FC
Thai League 1 club Chonburi FC got back to their winning ways against Ubon UMT United, but Zulfahmi Arifin had to make do with a place on the bench.
The Sharks, who had Kroekrit Thawikan in an inspired mood, went ahead thanks to the skipper in the 22nd minute but the relegated Eagles hit back thanks to a Korrawit Tasa goal before half-time.
Midfielder Kroekrit was not done just yet and added his second in the 56th minute, and in the process handing his side a 2-1 win – their 12th league victory of the season.
With three games left, mid-table Chonburi are safe in ninth position with 42 points and host Nakhon Ratchasima FC on Saturday.
Sharks midfielder Zulfahmi, who can also play in defence as well, will be hoping to regain his spot in the starting XI for Saturday’s game. Perhaps as a belated wedding anniversary present for the 26-year-old?
The Chonburi no. 23 celebrated the first anniversary of his nuptial via Instagram (IG) and thanked his wife for being nothing short of supportive towards him. #luckyinlove
Gabriel Quak – Navy FC
Gabriel Quak’s Navy FC notched their second consecutive draw against Chiangrai United FC, but it was not enough to secure another season of top-flight football.
The Navy no. 22 watched as his club started brightly and seized the advantage through Amadou Ouattara’s third-minute opener. The lead lasted barely a minute before the Beetles struck back via Akarawin Sawassdee.
Winger Quak might be forgiven if he thought Navy had pulled off the win with Brazilian Vitor Junior finding the back of the net at the start of the second period. But Chiangrai had the final say on proceedings when they found the equaliser in the 72nd minute and condemned Navy to life in the Thai League 2 next season with a 2-2 draw.
Nonetheless, 16th-placed Navy, who have 27 points from 31 games, have a matter of pride to play for as they host Port FC on Saturday in the league.
After such a week, anyone would be in need of a pick-me-up, and Quak is no different. The Singapore Lion, who clearly is a foodie at heart, got over the pain of being relegated with the tried-and-tested Asian comfort food – hotpot!
The former LionsXII FC and Geylang International FC player was also particularly reflective this week – sharing a highlight video of the four goals he scored for Navy this season on his Facebook (FB) wall.
Hassan Sunny – Army United FC
Lampang FC made Army United FC and Hassan Sunny work for the points in the second last Thai League 2 match last week.
The Emerald Chariots stormed into a two-nil lead inside 21 minutes when Melvin de Leeuw and Jeerachai Ladadok both found a way past the Gentleman Ranger no. 18.
But there were more goals in store in the second half with Army United midfielder Komkrit Cumsokcheak grabbing the first of the lot on 65th minute.
Rittiporn Whanchuen equalised for the Gentleman Rangers only for Lampang defender Ronnapee Cheoykamdee to grabbed his side’s third goal. Thankfully though, Army United never stop pushing forward and Brazilian Erivelto had the last word in the 87th minute to give them a share of the spoils.
The Gentleman Rangers dropped to eighth following their 3-3 draw and end their season away at Nongbua Pitchaya FC on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Sunny, who put in a hard shift at Thai Army Sports Stadium last Sunday, cannot wait for the season to end to head home to his two daughters.
The 34-year-old Singapore international shot-stopper missed his two little princesses so much that he shared a Insta Story of his two kids mucking about. Just two more sleeps till home beckons!
Izwan Mahbud – Nongbua Pitchaya FC
Singaporean goalie Izwan Mahbud missed out on a spot in the Nongbua Pitchaya FC squad that won away at Kasetsart FC.
At the TOT Stadium last Sunday, the two Thai League 2 teams kept things tight with the score all even at the break.
Then later into the second period, the Gamecocks broke the deadlock in the 87th minute when Thai international Tana Chanabut struck to cap off a late 1-0 victory.
With their 12th win of the season, Nongbua Pitchaya are fifth in the table and sign off their season hosting Army United at the weekend.
Thus, 28-year-old Izwan will be catching up with fellow Lions custodian Hassan Sunny when their two clubs meet before jetting back to Singapore for his end-of-season break.
Baihakki Khaizan – Udon Thani FC
Baihakki Khaizan was in action for Udon Thani FC in their second last match of the season, but could not keep Samut Sakhon FC from runnning out 2-1 winners.
The Udon Thani no. 5 partnered Chartchai Saengdao in the Orange Giants’ defence and it looked like a normal day at the office with forward Srihanart Suttisak netting as early as the third minute!
Sakhon replied 13 minutes later through Suphakij Niamkong and it was all even-steven at the half-time whistle. However, Nigerian Adefolarin Durosinmi emerged the hero of the day when he settled the tie in the 83rd minute to break Baihakki and his Udon teammates’ hearts!
The Orange Giants move up to 11th despite suffering their 12th defeat of the season. Singapore international Baihakki will have a chance to end his season on a winning note when they entertain Krabi FC – who will be battling to avoid the drop.
We have reached the tail end of the season and it is only natural that 34-year-old Baihakki is feeling reflective.
The Lions veteran defender, who revealed on Insta Story that he is facing a major career decision, gave his fans a proper #throwback when he posted a photo of Singapore’s 2004 Suzuki Cup-winning side.
Our hearts melted even further when Baihakki shared the #truelifestory of how he and some of his then-national teammates had to wait patiently at the ATM for their championship bonus – which they desperately needed.
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