Muangthong United recover winning form with a solid 2-1 home match victory over Port FC.

Coach Mario Gjurovski and the entire squad we're hungry for victory tonight after a couple of losses, including being knocked out of the FA Cup.

Said Gjurovski, "This is football, we have setbacks, but the important thing is the attitude, and we are more determined than ever to bounce back."

The Muangthong United-Port FC fixture is always a close battle and the clubs have traded wins and losses over the seasons. Poignant for tonight's fixture was the presence of Kawin Thamsatchanan between the pipes for Port FC.  The Thailand international keeper developed through many seasons with Muangthong before leaving to play in Belgium.  It was in the recent transfer window that Kawin returned to Thailand, signing with Port.

Kawin was greeted with a tremendous round of applause from Muangthong United supporters who recognize his quality and contribution to Thai football over the years.

Missing from tonight's fixture was Thai international Weerathep Pomphan, out on a yellow card ban for this match.  He's replaced with Atikhun Meethum.

From the kickoff Muangthong United pressed hard for an early goal, pinning Port FC into their end and creating chances and a series of corner kicks.

The pressure paid off at the 11th minute as Willian Popp outjumped his defender to head in the cross from Atikhun.

Port FC regained control of the game as the half progressed and began to create chances.  Yet Muangthong United's defenders made no mistakes on the night.

Port FC's Spanish attacker Sergio Suarez was closely guarded and picked up a yellow after trying to get away from centre back Lucas Rocha.

Jesper Nyholm, the Filipino-Swedish centre back who joined Muangthong United at the half-season, was likewise solid, winning headers and dispossessing attackers inside the danger zone, including a key tackle on Port FC's #10 Bordin Phala to prevent the shot.

At the half, Muangthong United led 1-0, with both teams having created good chances and the capacity crowd (limited to 50% due to Covid-19) thoroughly entertained.

Port FC was to create several good opportunities. Salvadoran Nelson Bonilla neatly chested the ball and shot, but the attempt was wide.  Moments later the ball came to him again in prime scoring location, but Muangthong's keeper Somporn was ready for it and made the save.

Heading past the 60th-minute mark, Muangthong United went two up after Theeraphol produced a pretty goal.  Once again, a corner kick led to the opportunity, with Sardor Mirzaev heading the ball over to Theeraphol who mimicked Bonilla's earlier move, chesting the ball and one-timing the shot past Kawin.

Coach Mario pulled Mirzaev from the game shortly after and youngster Songwut Kraikruan was handed his first-team debut. The 20-year-old is one of several academy players finding pitch time in the 2021-22 season.

Port FC was to get one back before the end of time, however, the game was Muangthong United's to win.

The three points see Muangthong United leap to fifth place, just two points out of the top three and potential AFC Champions League qualification next season.

Said Coach Mario Gjurovski following the match, "Port FC are a top team with talent, and we played the game we had prepared, winning on two set-pieces which we saw as their weakness.  It's been hard for us, not being able to train for several weeks, and this was finally a chance to prepare, and we showed on the pitch our response to setbacks."

Mario added, "Thanks to the fans. Once again it was an incredible atmosphere and we need your support every time."

Muangthong United will now play matches away from home, visiting the two Isan teams who were promoted to the top flight this season and have shown quality.  The Kirin will be back at the Thunderdome at the end of February to play northern Thailand's Chiang Rai United.