Defending champions Buriram United wasted a host of good chances as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Muangthong United in the first leg of the Thai League Cup quarter-finals.
It was Buriram who got off to a brighter start at the Thunder Castle Stadium and threatened for the first time after ten minutes; Javier Patino turning the ball towards goal with a bullet header that forced Kawin Thamsatchanan into a flying save.
The visitors were then lucky to escape a penalty – and potentially a red card – three minutes after the half-hour mark when Patino appeared to have been barged over by Dagno Siaka as he was about to break through, although the referee was not impressed and waved play on.
Kawin was called into action once more on the stroke of halftime when he made another smart stop to keep out Anawin Jujeen’s snapshot from just outside the box, before the Thunder Castle had another penalty appeal turned down in the 61st minute after Adisak Kraisorn’s attempted cross looked to have been deflected clear off Siaka’s hand.
But two minutes from time, it was the Twin Qilins who came closest to stealing the win when Sarawut Masuk charged through down the right but Sivaruck Tedsungnoen did brilliantly to tip his shot onto the post, leaving the tie evenly poised ahead of the second leg on July 2.
Over at the Leo Stadium, there was also no separating Bangkok Glass and BEC Tero Sasana as both sides played out a 0-0 stalemate.
In an evenly-contested encounter, the Fire Dragons had the first sighting at goal in the ninth minute when Tanaboon Kesarat sent a 30-yard drive inches over the bar.
The hosts responded nine minutes later when Piyachart Tamaphan lined up a freekick on the right wing and went straight for goal, but Todsaporn Sri-reung was alert to the danger and tipped his dipping effort over.
BEC Tero then wasted an excellent chance to edge ahead on the half-hour mark after Georgie Welcome beat the offside trap and raced through, only to fire straight at Narit Taweekul.
The best chance of the second 45 did fall the way of the Glass Rabbits but Todsaporn was not to be beaten as he kept out Darko Tasevski’s long-range freekick at full stretch, leaving both sides to settle for a draw.
Over at the Dragons Arena, Ratchaburi claimed a healthy aggregate lead in their all-Premier League clash with PTT Rayong after recording a 3-1 win.
Sila Srikampung fired them ahead seven minutes before halftime when he found space inside the box and squeezed his shot past Bunjong Thongsuk at the near post.
Right on the hour mark, another error from Bunjong saw the visitors fall further behind as he fumbled a routine catch to allow Heberty’s 35-yard freekick to end up in the back of his net.
13 minutes from time, Ratchaburi went on to wrap up the win when Juan Quero marked his debut with a goal; running onto Heberty’s through-pass before stroking the ball into the bottom corner.
PTT did however keep their hopes of a second-leg comeback alive as they pulled one back deep into injury-time, after Rufinho Sanchez met Narongchai Vachiraban’s freekick with a deft header that squirmed under Chayoot Nakchamnarn and over the line.
Finally, Division 1 League outfit Nakhon Ratchasima continued their giant-killing ways with a 3-1 triumph over top-flight opponents Chainat at the 5th December Stadium.
Metee Taweekulkarn put the hosts ahead a minute before halftime when he met a right-wing cross with a glancing header into the back of the net, but Chainat equalised in the 47th minute when Laksana Kamruen fired into the unguarded net when the ball spilled into his path after Kampol Pathom-attakul had halted Parinya Utapao’s charge into the box.
Nonetheless, Nakhon Ratchasima reclaimed the lead when Ivan Petrovic scored from the spot in the 74th minute, after Shota Koide had been crudely brought down inside the area by Sumanya Purisay.
And five minutes later, the Swat Cats strengthened their advantage ahead of the return encounter as they netted a third; Koide racing onto Petrovic’s slide-rule pass before chipping the ball over the onrushing Kritsakorn Kerdpol.
Wednesday’s Thai League Cup Quarter-final 1st Leg Results
Bangkok Glass 0-0 BEC Tero Sasana
Buriram United 0-0 Muangthong United
Nakhon Ratchasima 3-1 Chainat
Ratchaburi 3-1 PTT Rayong