Pulsating draw sets up title race

By
Updated: July 11, 2016
Chanathip Messi J

What an advert for the Thai game.

Bangkok United and Muangthong United, the top two in the Premier League, served up a pulsating, high-paced feast of football last night littered with great goals, last-ditch clearances, lung-bursting runs and post-shattering efforts.

It finished 3-3; it could have been 6-6.

OK the defending was abject at times. And there was some questionable refereeing. But it would be churlish to focus too much on these familiar failings.

Bangkok United refused to buckle, coming out in the second half 2-1 behind knowing they needed to take a risk and really make a marker for the title race. That they came from behind twice in the half says much for their character.

A point for each side was probably about right and sets up an intriguing battle for the rest of the season. Muangthong retain a three point lead, but the Angels have the edge in head-to-heads following their win at the SCG Stadium earlier in the season, and so would take the title should the sides finish level on points.

Here’s hoping for a genuine dash for the title with no outside influences (off the pitch, if you catch my drift) to decide things.

There were stars on both stars last night. Bangkok’s technically proficient Dragan Boskovic was tireless, and his beautiful curled effort to level the scores at 2-2 took his tally for the season to 12.

But the star who shone brightest was Muangthong’s Chanathip ‘Messi J’ Songraskin (pictured above). It’s not his fault that he’s been burdened with the ‘Messi’ tag by a hyperventilating Thai media, and often the moniker has looked ludicrous to the extreme this season, where he has too often been on the periphery of games.

Not so here. From the first whistle he wanted the ball, demanded it, and terrified the Bangkok United defenders with his ability to run with it at pace. One run early in the game nearly resulted in a goal, but his shot was tame. Not long later he picked the ball up in his own half and run at speed at the defence which backtracked, terrified. This time he made no mistake with a calm finish.

For the rest of the match he was a constant nuisance for the Bangkok defence, and orchestrated Adisak Kraisorn’s second goal on 68 minutes through good work on the left. He was pulled off towards the end, a spent force, but on this occasion he justified the hype.

The game bristled with edge from the first whistle. Muangthong started the game stronger, hogging possession in midfield, but it was the Angels, always a danger on the break, who pinched the early lead, Jaycee John scoring.

The Kirins roared back with Chanathip’s solo effort, then took a deserved lead through Adisak’s clinical finish on the verge of half-time.

After the break the Angels came out with renewed purpose, and after hitting the post through Mika Chunuonsee, deservedly equalised with that purler from Boskovic. Adisak thought he had won it for Muangthong with his 11th of the season but Mano Polking’s men refused to be denied, and equalised through Ekkachai Sumrei’s calm finish on 79 minutes.

Muangthong pressed hard towards the death but could not find a way through, Adisak missing the chance of a hat-trick by heading into the ground and over the bar.

There were 11,600 souls at Thammasat Stadium to witness what was a marvellously harum-scarum affair.

Who needs defending when the league serves up entertainment this good?

 

Thammasat Stadium – Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bangkok United   3-3   Muangthong United
John 8                                   Chanathip 21
Boskovic 62                            Adisak 42, 69
Ekkachai 79

 

Picture credit: Muangthong United

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thai Goals, ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures, Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One

Thai Goals

Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup, AFC Champions League, AFC

ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures

Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One, Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup

ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures
Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup, AFC Champions League, AFC
Thai Goals, Thailand National Team, Thai Grounds, Thai Division One, Thai Regional League, Thai FA Cup, Thai League Cup< ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures ThaiGoals, Thailand Soccer, Thai Football, Premier League of Thailand, Thai Fixtures
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