A coronavirus-hit Buriram United returned to Thai League 1 action this week with a hard-earned 1-0 win over Suphanburi FC at the Chang Arena in Buriram.
The Thunder Castles were to resume their league campaign when the Thai top division returned after a six-month break on September 12 but their matches were delayed after one of their players tested positive for COVID-19.
Buriram's new Uzbekistan midfielder Akbar Ismatullaev had contracted the virus on the eve of the restart forcing the entire squad to enter quarantine for two weeks and hampering their preparations for the competition.
As expected, Buriram were not at their best against a Suphanburi side that had already played two games since the league's return. However, an early goal from Gidi Kanyuk, another of their new imports from Israel, was enough for the seven-time champions to mark a winning return.
Meanwhile, league newcomers BG Pathum United defeated Bangkok United 2-0 to rise to the top of the table with 16 points from six matches. Victor Cardozo scored the opener early in the second half before an own goal from Manuel Bihr sealed the win for the impressive Rabbits -- who have now not conceded a goal in their last five matches.
Bangkok sit second, one point behind Pathum United, while defending champions Chiangrai United climbed to third after a 2-0 win over Rayong FC. The Beetles have 14 points but have played a game more than the leading duo.
New head coach Sarawut Treephan helped Port FC record their first win since the restart, thanks to a 3-2 defeat of Trat FC at the Trat Province Stadium. 40-year-old Treephan had replaced Jadet Meelarp at the Port helm following their 1-0 defeat to Pathum United last week.
Heberty Fernandes scored Port's first goal under Treephan in the 34th minute before Sittichok Paso equalised for Trat five minutes later. Full-back Nitipong Selanon netted from outside the box to restore the Port Lions' advantage, but a stubborn Trat hit back again through Afghan midfielder Mustafa Azadzoy.
But, Sergio Suarez stole the win in the 90th minute to lift the big-spending Port to fourth in the table with 13 points from seven matches.
Another team to register their first win since restart this week was traditional heavyweights Muangthong United who edged Ratchaburi Mitr Phol FC 2-1 at the SCG Stadium.
Derley opened the scoring for the Kirins in the 25th minute, but Philippines international Javier Patino levelled the score at 1-1 in the 57th minute. An own goal handed Muangthong the much-needed win after Suporn Peenagatapho's strike deflected off Ukrit Wongmeema into the goal.
In the other fixtures of the week, Nakhon Ratchasima FC and Sukhothai FC played out a six-goal thriller sharing the points at the end while Samut Prakan City FC condemned PT Prachuap FC to a 3-0 defeat. Chonburi FC, meanwhile, made it 12 points from seven matches after a 2-1 win over Police Tero FC at the Boonyachinda Stadium.
Chiangrai and Buriram, the last two winners of the league, are set to clash in this weekend's standout fixture while Port take on Muangthong in another promising encounter on Sunday.