Chiang Rai, Suphanburi impress as T1 resumes after virus break

Chiang Rai, Suphanburi impress as T1 resumes after virus break

Beetles' hero: Chiang Rai United's Chotipat Poomkaew reacts after scoring against PT Prachuap.
Beetles' hero: Chiang Rai United's Chotipat Poomkaew reacts after scoring against PT Prachuap.

Defending champions Chiang Rai United edged PT Prachuap 1-0 in a high-intensity game as Thai League 1 returned after a coronavirus-induced six-month hiatus on Saturday night.

However, the top league's much-awaited restart wasn't what the country's football basses had been hoping for as a couple of opening weekend's matches had to be postponed.

The Public Health Ministry announced on Friday that Buriram United midfielder Akbar Ismatullaev of Uzbekistan was found to have Covid-19 in its tests of 1,115 football players and officials in the top two leagues.

This forced Thai League Co to postpone two of the Thai League 1 games with last night's top-of-the-table clash between Ratchaburi and True Bangkok United and today's meeting between BG Pathum United and Buriram being the casualties.

Ratchaburi's game was postponed because the Dragons played a warm-up game with Buriram on Aug 30.

The battle between the Beetles and visiting Prachuap saw a total of 30 fouls committed by both sides.

The home team succeeded in wresting control of the game early and their efforts paid off shortly after the 30-minute mark as Chotipat Poomkaew's goal proved enough to earn the defending champions three points in their first outing after the long break.

Thailand international Ekanit Panya made an impressive return from injury for Chiang Rai and was instrumental in a number of attacking moves launched by the hosts last night.

While the Beetles improved their tally to eight points from five match, Prachuap, winners of the Thai League Cup last year, remained stuck in the drop zone as they have yet to win a league game this season.

In another match, hosts Suphanburi posted an impressive 2-0 victory and handed Nakhon Ratchasima their fourth loss of the season.

Suphanburi netted their first goal early when Parndecha Ngernpraset put them ahead in the 11th minute.

The hosts sealed the match within the first 10 minutes of the second half when another midfielder Kasidech Wettayawong doubled their advantage.

Big-spending Port will be in action on Sunday when they take on Police Tero in a home game which is expected to provide some fireworks as Chonburi host Trat for an eastern derby and Samut Prakan City play Rayong at home.

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