Chanathip dazzles for Muang Thong while Buriram continue to struggle

Muang Thong United playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin believes his side showed they have what it takes to become Premier League of Thailand (PLT) champions after a late goal earned them three points in a tight game at Amy United.

Substitute Chaiyawat Buran was the hero for Muang Thong as his 85th-minute strike finally broke down a stubborn Army rearguard led by Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.

It was a vital goal, with second-placed Bangkok United having kept the pressure on with a 1-0 win at Suphanburi on Saturday.

Here are five things we learned from PLT Matchday 16:

1. Messi J keeps eyes on the prize

Chanathip -- also known as Messi J -- admitted his side had seen off a difficult challenge at Army Stadium but suggested it was the form of champions as the Kirins struck yet another late winner. Chanathip's perfect pass saw 20-year-old Chaiyawat take advantage of a defensive slip and the left wing-back slid his shot past Sunny.

Chanathip told ESPN FC, "We're taking things match by match and every game is difficult. Today was tough but our target is to be champions and we kept going and eventually got our reward."

Army United's Singaporean goalkeeper Sunny was frustrated after seeing his side's five-game unbeaten run come to an end.

"Muang Thong have quality and a side full of international players so we couldn't play an open game," he said.

"We had a plan and stayed compact but one lapse in concentration and a bit of magic from Chantathip gave them the winning goal. Hopefully, we can learn from this."

2. Therdsak rues missed chances

Chonburi head coach Therdsak Chaiman was unhappy as his side dropped more points in a 1-1 draw at bottom side BBCU FC. The Sharks went behind to an early Julius Obioh goal and survived a few more scares in the first half.

Therdak's side took control towards the end of the first period and Leandro Assumpcao levelled matters just before the hour mark. But despite their second-half dominance, Chonburi couldn't find the winning goal.

Therdsak told ESPN FC, "We needed three points. The goal we conceded was the result of a misunderstanding in defence and we then had a lot of chances to win. But when you cannot finish your chances, you can't win games."

Regarding the possibility of reinforcements and departures for the second half of the season at the cash-strapped club, Thersdak said, "We might be able to buy some new Thai players and we're still thinking about the options for foreign players. But if any of our players is offered big money, we cannot keep him."

Chonburi's media relations officer Jeerasak Chomthong was quoted in Saturday's Bangkok Post as saying, "This season we are experiencing financial problems. Our target for this year's league is a modest one. We will be content if we can finish in the top half."

But Therdsak insists he would not just be happy with a place in the top nine. "It would not be okay for me," the former SAFFC midfielder said. "The club president has lowered expectations because this year has seen a lot of changes but, as coach, I want to do better than this."

3. BBCU keep the faith

While Chonburi were left to reflect on missed opportunities, BBCU were looking on the bright side despite remaining nine points from safety.

The hosts started brightly and might have had more than Obioh's second-minute strike to show for their efforts before the Sharks dominated the second half. BBCU are now five points adrift of 17th-placed Chainat and nine behind Nakhon Ratchasima in 15th place.

But BBCU's English-Thai midfielder Naruphon Putsorn said, "Any point is a point gained. It was disappointing to lose the equaliser but we have to be happy with a point. At the start of the season, our target was to stay in the PLT and although our situation is difficult, nothing is impossible."

4. Three is the magic number again for Buriram and Tero

Last season, the first meeting between Buriram United and BEC Tero Sasana ended in a 3-3 draw at the Thunder Castle. Incredibly, history repeated itself on Saturday but this time it was Tero who went home happy.

Last year, struggling BEC Tero went to the home of the champions and led 2-0 and then 3-1 before seeing Diogo Luis Santo's late double end their hopes of a famous victory. This time, it was the Fire Dragons that burned the champions as they kept coming back and eventually levelled at 3-3, despite having just 10 men.

Satahaporn Dangsri gave the hosts an early lead but Milos Bosancic levelled before the break. Jakkaphan Kaewprom's spectacular effort put the champions back in front at the start of the second half but Chananan Pompbuppha's superb individual goal made it 2-2 on the hour. Kim Seung-Yong struck to put Afshin Ghotbi's side ahead for the third time and Tero's task looked a forlorn one when captain Adison Promrak was red-carded for a foolish stamp in the 83rd minute.

But the away side kept their heads and Sivakorn Tiatrakul's 85th-minute header sent the visiting fans wild and ensured that Buriram slipped back to fifth place.

5. Family affair for Ratchaburi

The Srikampang brothers had opposing influences on the Dragons' 2-2 draw at Chainat. The hosts took an early lead through Wesley Alex's penalty before in-form Yannick Djalo levelled the match.

Hebert Fernandes hit the post with a free kick before Djalo set up Adisak Srikampang to give the visitors the lead at the end of the first half and the Dragons looked good for another away win, having defeated Buriram United last weekend. But the hosts gave their survival chances a boost when Jitpanya Tisut crashed home an equaliser from 20 yards.

And the Srikampang family had a less positive influence for the visitors when Sila was given his second yellow card for a block on Sho Shimoji. There were chances for both sides towards the end but Chainat will be the happier side despite staying deep in relegation trouble.