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 By Paul Murphy

Australia's Vidmar makes losing debut but upbeat about Bangkok Glass

Bangkok Glass coach Aurelio Vidmar
A second-half fightback by Bangkok Glass pleased new coach Aurelio Vidmar.

Aurelio Vidmar took plenty of positives from his first game in charge of Bangkok Glass, despite the disappointment of a 4-2 defeat at Bangkok United in the Premier League of Thailand (PLT).

The former Australia international watched his side stage an impressive second-half comeback before they were finally killed off by Mano Polking's title contenders.

Bangkok United were denied the opportunity to take top spot for the week when Adisorn Promrak struck an injury-time winner for Muang Thong United at home to Chiang Rai United.

Here are five things we saw in PLT Matchday 26:

1. Vidmar looks on the bright side

The new head coach of Bangkok Glass saw his side get off to the worst possible start when Jaycee John opened the scoring for Bangkok United after just four minutes. Things soon got worse when Dragan Boskovic converted a penalty just before the half-hour mark.

But it was a different Bangkok Glass that came out after the break and Chatree Chimtalay's header pulled a goal back after 54 minutes. Nice work from Toti on the right then created the opportunity for Jakkapan Pornsai to side-foot home the equaliser on 63 minutes. The visitors were denied what should have been a third goal when the assistant's flag was wrongly raised for offside before Romain Gasmi tapped in.

Bangkok Glass winger Jakkapan Pornsai
Thailand international Jakkapan Pornsai equalised for Bangkok Glass just after the hour.

The Bangkok Angels took advantage of their reprieve when Gilberto Macena's close-range effort put them back in front with just under 15 minutes remaining and Mario Gjurovski sealed the victory with a clever finish in added time.

"I thought it was a pretty good performance, though we conceded a couple of silly goals," Vidmar told ESPN FC.

"I'm proud of the players. I've only been working with them for three days and they've been putting in a lot of effort. I thought we played some really good football and hopefully that gives us confidence moving forward."

The man who took Adelaide United to the 2008 AFC Champions League final felt his side gave as good as they got throughout the match, despite the early setback.

"We conceded a silly early goal and that knocked our confidence a little but I thought that we were the better team for much of the game," said Vidmar. "There's a lot of little things to work on but the players have to believe in themselves and the type of football we're trying to play."

Bangkok Glass skipper Matt Smith echoed his new coach's thoughts when he said, "I'm happy with that performance and I thought we deserved more. If we continue to play like this, we'll pick up more points than we lose.

"The new coach has been trying to implement a bit of structure. The players took on board what he asked and we were in the game for 90 minutes."

Bangkok United striker Gilberto Macena
Brazilian forward Gilbert Macena is hoping to win back-to-back titles with different PLT clubs.

2. Macena eyes another title

At this time last year, Gilberto Macena was one half of the most feared striking partnership in the country as he and Diogo Luis Santo fired Buriram United to the championship.

Now, with Bangkok United, Macena is confident that he can pick up a second consecutive winners' medal after his crucial goal on Saturday helped kill off a comeback from Bangkok Glass. It was all the more impressive as the Brazilian had suffered a nasty head knock against Ratchaburi last week, resulting in 17 stitches in his chin.

"The hospital did a really good job and I was really happy to be fit enough to play again after five days. Tonight, it was a very important goal as they gave us a lot of problems in the second half and we made some mistakes," Macena told ESPN FC.

Regarding his chances of winning the Thai title for the second successive year, Macena added, "I believe we can do it. We are on the right track and we have to win all of our games but we have a big chance to lift the trophy at the end of the season."

Bangkok United boss Polking insists that his side should have had things wrapped up before Macena's intervention.

"I think we played our best first half of the season, not only the two goals but we had many other chances and the game should have been finished at half-time," said Polking.

"We have let teams into the game in the second half too many times and it happened again. After they equalised, we began to dominate again, created more chances and scored another two and could have scored more."

Muang Thong fans in Thailand
Muang Thong United fans are getting used to late drama at the top of the TPL.

3. Late show from Muang Thong

Moving into added time on Sunday evening, it looked like Muang Thong United's long spell at the top of the PLT might be coming to an end.

Locked at 0-0 at home to Chiang Rai United, the Kirins needed a goal to stop Bangkok United taking top spot, courtesy of a better head-to-head record. Not for the first time this season, there was late drama.

Last week, it was the Bangkok Angels who were rescued when Mario Gjurovski's injury-time free kick earned all three points against Ratchaburi. This week, Adisorn was an unlikely hero. The defender picked up a cross, turned and rifled home a shot from 18 yards to put Muang Thong back in control of the PLT for another week at least.

4. Relegation battle heats up

Army United and Navy FC were the biggest losers at the bottom end of the table as all other relegation candidates picked up points, with the exception of doomed BBCU FC. Army lost 1-0 at home to Suphanburi, while Nakhon Ratchasima picked up a vital three points with a 2-1 home win over Navy.

Chianat's former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama Pongolle scored yet another double as the Hornbills played out a thrilling 4-4 draw at home to Buriram United. Diogo's hat-trick wasn't enough for the visitors as Anuwat Noicheunpan levelled in added time. Super Power Samut Prakan also boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 victory over Pattaya United.

5. Leandro makes a splash for Chonburi

In farcical conditions, Chonburi recovered from last weekend's 3-0 home defeat to Muang Thong by winning 3-1 at BEC Tero Sasana.  But the Sharks had to take to the water to earn their latest victory.

Despite the waterlogged pitch, the match went ahead and Leandro Assumpcao proved to have the best mastery of the conditions with two goals.

"Playing in these conditions is not good for anyone but we had to play the game and give our best for the team," Leandro told ESPN FC.

The Brazilian admitted that it was an important result after the capitulation at home to the league leaders.

"The game against Muang Thong was bad for us," Leandro conceded. "But we have to look forward."

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

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