Teerasil Dangda grabs double as Muang Thong United romp in Thailand
Teerasil Dangda struck his first Thai League (T1) goals in over two months as Muang Thong United recovered from an early scare to thrash bottom side Super Power Samut Prakan by a record score of 9-1.
The Thai international striker grabbed a brace after Super Power sensationally took a first-half lead before reverting to type and conceding nine goals for the second time in three games.
Buriram United maintained their four-point cushion over the Kirins at the top, while fourth-paced Chiang Rai United's victory at Port FC was soured by a serious injury to Tanaboon Kesarat.
Here are five things we saw on T1 Matchday 24:
1. Muang Thong make history
Bottom side Super Power Samut Prakan stunned the Thai champions by taking the lead with an excellent Farid Madsoh strike after 13 minutes. The match was played at neutral Rajamangala Stadium after Muang Thong were handed a one-game stadium ban, and the change of venue didn't seem to their liking despite the presence of many Thai internationals.
But it didn't take long for Leandro Assumpcao to level the score with a free kick before Teerasil put the Kirins ahead before half-time. The floodgates really opened in the second half and Muang Thong scored five goals in an incredible 15-minute period between the 57th and 72nd minutes.
Leandro completed a hat-trick, Adisak Kraisorn netted twice, Heberty Fernandes rifled in from long range and even Tristan Do got in on the scoring act.
For Muang Thong there was relief that there was a comprehensive recovery after falling behind. For Super Power, it was the latest embarrassing episode in a season of shame.
2. Jaja keeps Buriram in the clear
Buriram United's form is beginning to look ominous and they overcame their latest opponents with ease on Saturday as Jaja Coelho's hat-trick helped the Thunder Castle to a 4-0 win over northeastern rivals Ubon UMT United.
Having claimed a point at champions Muang Thong last time out, Buriram wasted no time in ensuring they would maintain their four-point advantage at the top, and Jaja netted after just five minutes.
The Brazilian struck again before half-time and completed his hat-trick in added time after Rafael Bastos had scored a third. Next up for Buriram are Super Power, so Muang Thong will have to wait a little longer before they can play catch-up.
3. Tanaboon injury sours Chiang Rai success
Chiang Rai United overcame Kiatisuk Senamuang's Port FC with a hard-fought 2-1 victory in Bangkok, but the result was overshadowed by a serious injury for Tanaboon.
The Thailand international midfielder appeared to twist his knee badly in just the third minute of the game and was immediately driven to hospital with a suspected cruciate ligament tear.
The Beetles opened the scoring through Prathum Chuthong in the 17th minute before David Rochela levelled 12 minutes in the second half. Felipe Azevedo's fine glancing header won the game for the visitors, but they will have had the condition of their teammate at the forefront of their minds as they left the pitch.
Early indications are that Tanaboon will be out for the rest of this season and the beginning of next year - a huge blow to club and country.
4. Bangkok United show depth
Mario Gjurovski was missing through suspension, and Dragan Boskovic failed to find the target, but Bangkok United proved that they are not over dependent on these two players. Gjurovski and Boskovic have hit 40 T1 goals between them this season as the Bangkok Angels have consistently racked up big scorelines.
On Saturday, it was time to share the goals around as Mano Polking's side beat BEC Tero Sasana 5-2, with five different scorers.
Puttinan Wannasri, Teerathep Winothai, Sumanya Purisai, Manuel Bihr and Chinedu Ede were all on target as United gave yet another attacking masterclass.
Polking admitted he was delighted with a display that highlighted the depth of talent at the club.
"It is very important to show that without those two, we are a very strong team," Polking told ESPN FC. "As I have always said, we have a very good squad. There are 26 quality players and we have healthy competition for places."
5. Swatcats close in on safety
Nakhon Ratchasima's match at home to Sisaket on Sunday was the classic relegation six-pointer.
A win for the hosts would take them 10 points clear of their opponents, who were sitting in 16th spot. An away win, however, would drag Milos Joksic's side right into a relegation battle and just four points from the drop zone.
It was Nakhon Ratchasima who prevailed, with goals from Dominic Adiyiah, Paulo Rangel and Kritsada Hemvipat.
Relegation is a certainty for Super Power, a strong probability for Thai Honda and Sisaket are looking increasingly likely to be the final team to go down after a run of just one win in eight games.
Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK