Muangthong United moved three points clear at the top of the Thai Premier League on Sunday following a 4-2 win over Samut Songkhram at the Samut Songkhram Stadium.
The Twin Qilins took the lead after 13 minutes courtesy of Teerasil Dangda’s sixth goal of the campaign; the Thailand striker latching onto Jay Bothroyd’s cutback and expertly steering the ball into the bottom corner.
On the stroke of halftime, they doubled their tally after neat passing from Teerasil and Mario Gjurovski fashioned an opening for Bothroyd, who duly rifled a shot past Erikson Noguchipinto at the near post.
Samut Songkhram did manage to pull one back two minutes after the restart when Samuel Ajayi scored from close range after the opposition defence failed to deal with Issarapong Lilakorn’s left-wing cross.
But five minutes later, Muangthong’s two-goal cushion was restored by Gjurovski, who ran onto Piyaphon Phanichakul’s lofted through-ball and sent a cheeky lob into the back of the net.
The result was then put beyond doubt when the visitors grabbed their fourth of the game in the 59th minute after Gjurovski provided an assist once more; chipping the ball through for Bothroyd to send an emphatic volley into the back of the net.
However, the hosts did manage to grab another consolation eight minutes from time when Ajayi doubled his tally with a neat finish past Kawin Thamsatchanan, after Rodion Dyachenko had embarked on a penetrating run through the middle before slipping the ball to his team-mate.
Over at the New I-Mobile Stadium, Buriram United picked up a much-needed result as they ended a four-game winless streak by beating Chonburi 2-0.
Following a goalless first half, the hosts broke the deadlock in the 47th minute when Kai Hirano got in ahead of Suttinan Phuk-hom to meet Anawin Jujeen’s right-wing cross and send a peach of a header past Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool’s despairing dive.
Four minutes before the hour mark, it was 2-0 after Carmelo Gonzalez dispossessed Adul Lahso before releasing Hirano, who raced through before firing home his second of the night.
And in injury-time, the Sharks’ miserable evening was compounded as Fode Bangaly Diakite was sent off for a second bookable offence, as they fell to their first defeat of the campaign.
Chonburi’s defeat means the only remaining team with an unbeaten start to 2014 are BEC Tero Sasana, who recorded an emphatic 7-0 win over Bangkok United at the 72-years Anniversary Stadium.
Captain Rangsan Viwatchaichok got the Fire Dragons on their way when he curled an exquisite 25-yard freekick into the top corner after 14 minutes, before Sho Shimoji made it 2-0 a minute after the half-hour mark after racing in at the far post to head home Gilbert Koomson’s perfectly-weighted cross.
Koomson then got in on the act in the 61st minute when he spotted Pisan Dorkmaikaew off his line and sent a sublime lob into the back of the net, before turning provider once more seven minutes later as he played a visionary through-ball for Shimoji to run onto and slot home.
Despite the big lead, BEC Tero showed no signs of letting up and Georgie Welcome grabbed their fifth in the 74th minute with an easy finish, after the ball had rolled into his path following Pollawat Pinkong’s attempted tackle on Chanathip Songkrasin.
Shimoji then returned the favour to Koomson in the 81st minute as he delivered an over-the-top ball for the Ghanaian, who proceeded to round Pisan before blasting his shot into the unguarded net.
And five minutes from time, the rout was completed when Naruphol Ar-Romsawa broke free inside the box and fired into the bottom corner to cap off a brilliant display from Jose Alves’ charges.
Elsewhere, Sisaket bounced back from a four-game winless streak by beating PTT Rayong 4-2 at the PTT Stadium.
The hosts had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock when they were awarded a penalty early on after Adisak Srikampang had been tugged back inside the box by Alongkorn Pratoomwong.
Although Rufinho Sanchez’s initial effort had been saved by Lucas Daniel, Paitoon Tiepma raced into to score on the rebound but the strike was chalked off for encroachment.
Rufinho had to take the spot-kick a second time and once again, Lucas produced a stunning save to tip his shot onto the post and deny the Spaniard.
Sisaket then made full use of their keeper’s heroics when they edged ahead in the 23rd minute; Santirat Viang-in finishing at the back post after Pichet In-bang had won possession outside the box and fired a dangerous ball across the face of goal.
The Oil Millionaires did respond six minutes after the half-hour mark when Siwapong Jareansin scored with a looping shot into the far corner from outside the box, but Santirat restored his side’s lead four minutes before halftime; sending a half-volley into the back of the net after a long ball had bounced all the way through to him.
Eight minutes from time, the result appeared to have been put to bed when Piyawat Thongman unselfishly flicked the ball back for Pichet to volley home the visitors’ third goal, but PTT Rayong reduced the deficit in the 88th minute when Pipat Thonkanya picked up a loose ball and blasted a shot into the back of the net.
However, Sisaket finally managed to wrap up the three points deep into injury-time when opposition keeper Sujin Naknayom fumbled Jirawat Daokhao’s tame effort, allowing Piyawat to stab home the rebound.
In Sunday’s final match, Prakit Deeprom netted a minute before the break to hand TOT a 1-0 win over Songkhla United at the Tinasulanon Stadium.
Sunday’s Thai Premier League Results
Buriram United 2-0 Chonburi
Samut Songkhram 2-4 Muangthong United
PTT Rayong 2-4 Sisaket
Songkhla United 0-1 TOT
BEC Tero Sasana 7-0 Bangkok United