Buriram United captain Suchao Nutnum lifts the Thai League 1 trophy at Chang Arena on Saturday night.
Northeastern giants Buriram United gleefully welcomed the record sixth Thai League 1 trophy on Saturday night and the 3-0 romp over Pattaya United later was just the icing on the cake for the Thunder Castle.
While Buriram were confirmed as the league winners following their 2-0 victory over Police Tero last Saturday, the success of Thunder Castle’s bid to retain the trophy seemed a foregone conclusion a long time ago.
Their rivals, especially second-placed True Bangkok United, gave up the chase many weeks ago as Buriram kept demolishing every hurdle in their way.
With the trophy on display at Buriram’s home ground, there were bound to be some nerves and it took the hosts almost 25 minutes to get off the mark.
Sasalak Haiprakhon was the first to score before Filipino striker Javier Patino guided an Andrez Tunez header into the net in the 72nd minute.
The match ended with Buriram’s star forward Diogo Luis Santo scoring his first goal in many games by converting an injury-time penalty, awarded after Pattaya United’s Lee Won-Young fouled the Brazilian inside the box.
Besides the trophy, Buriram also received a cash prize of 10 million baht with Football Association of Thailand president Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang being the chief guest on the occasion.
Buriram United, the league winners in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017, will also face defending champions Chiang Rai United in the FA Cup final on Oct 27 at Bangkok’s Supachalasai Stadium.
Bangkok United, who are no more in contention for a domestic title this season, found some reason to celebrate by defeating relegated Air Force Central 6-2.
Robson Fernandes (30th minute), Ekachai Sumre (33rd) and Sumanya Purisay (50th) gave Bangkok United a massive 3-0 upper hand, before Air Force were able to net their first in the 58th minute through Greg Houla.
Veteran Teerathep Winothai then came off the bench to net a brace for Bangkok United and Rungrat Poomchanthuek rounded off the scoring in the dying moments. Worayut Klomnak scored Air Force’s second goal in 85th minute.
Chonburi moved onto safe ground with an emphatic 3-1 thumping of visiting Nakhon Ratchasima, while Jonatan Reis struck twice from the spot to give PT Prachuap a 2-0 home victory over struggling Chainat.
Meanwhile, some intense battles are expected tonight as four sides fighting to escape relegation come face-to-face with Police Tero taking on Ratchaburi and Bangkok Glass visiting Suphanburi.
Thai League 2 sides PTT Rayong, Trat and Chiang Mai will be promoted to Thai League 1 next year.