Buriram United capitalised on slip-ups by their title rivals to move four points clear at the top of the Thai Premier League with a 2-0 win over Singhtarua on Sunday.
Having witnessed Muangthong United and BEC Tero Sasana both held to draws on Saturday, the Thunder Castle got off to a dream start at the New I-Mobile Stadium as they took the lead after just three minutes; Chitipat Tanklang rifling a shot past Chanin Sae-Eae after Andres Tunez had deftly laid the ball into his path.
And ten minutes into the second half, David Rochela doubled their advantage when he received possession on the edge of the box and blasted a shot into the top corner.
Any hopes Singhtarua had of mustering a late fightback were effectively ended when Predrag Sikimic was shown a second yellow for a late challenge on Tunez, allowing the hosts to play out the remainder of the game and claim maximum points.
Buriram’s charge to the title was further boosted by second-placed Chonburi’s 1-1 draw with Suphanburi earlier in the day.
Things could have been worse for the Sharks at the Chonburi Stadium as Suphanburi took the lead in the 19th minute; Bjorn Lindemann making no mistake from 12 yards after his side had been awarded a penalty.
But four minutes later, Thiago Cunha equalised for the hosts to earn them a share of the spoils and prevent them from falling to what would have been a costly defeat.
Meanwhile, Army United continued their inconsistent ways as they fell to their second defeat in three outings after being beaten 2-1 by relegation-threatened PTT Rayong at the PTT Stadium.
It was the Oil Millionaires who drew first blood after Thongchai Phonang opened the scoring in the ninth minute; the left-back unleashing a 30-yard strike that took an awkward bounce before flying past a confounded Sarawut Konglarp.
However, Army looked to have forced the draw in the 79th minute when Tanakorn Dangthong embarked on a determined run that saw him force his way past two players, before prodding his shot into the bottom corner.
Still, it was the hosts who went on to claim all three points a minute from time after Amadou Ouattara broke free down the left and whipped a low cross into the box, where Kirati Keawsombat raced in to slide home the winner.
Over at the Thamassat Stadium, Police United and TOT played out a 2-2 draw – a result which does neither side any favours as they look to move away from the drop zone.
Michael Murcy fired the hosts ahead in the 17th minute when he scored on the half-volley after Saranyu Intarat had nodded a cross into his path, only for Supakit Niamkong to equalise ten minutes after the break with a glancing header past Pattra Piyapatkitti.
Supakit then handed TOT the lead with 11 minutes remaining as he pounced on a loose ball 30 yards out and drilled an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner.
Nonetheless, Police were awarded a penalty in the second minute of injury-time after Kim Tae-min’s cross had been handled by a defender and although Tana Chanabut’s spot-kick was saved by Weera Koedpudsa, Adnan Barakat poked home the rebound to earn his side a valuable point.
Finally, bottom side Samut Songkhram produced their best performance of the season to defeat Air Force Central 4-0 at the Samut Songkhram Stadium – only their fourth victory of the campaign.
After Peemvit Thongnitiroth had handed the hosts a 38th-minute lead, Pascal Millien was on target to double their tally three minutes after the hour mark.
Millien then scored again in the 71st minute to put them firmly in control of proceedings, before the Haiti international completed his hat-trick ten minutes from time to wrap up the three points for the Raging Mackerel.
Sunday’s Thai Premier League Results
Samut Songkhram 4-0 Air Force Central
Suphanburi 1-1 Chonburi
Buriram United 2-0 Singhtarua
PTT Rayong 2-1 Army United
Police United 2-2 TOT