Bangkok United playmaker Mario Djurovski insists he never doubted himself, after making an emotional return to former club Muang Thong United and helping his new team defeat the Kirins as he scored in a 3-2 victory in the Premier League of Thailand (PLT) on Wednesday.
Djurovski struggled to make an impact in his first couple of games for the Bangkok Angels but he has now bagged three vital goals in the last two matches for Mano Polking's side as they leapfrogged their opponents into second place.
As well as the intrigue surrounding the return of Djurovski, there was much focus on the Thai national team contingent in Muang Thong shirts. But it was Bangkok United midfielder Sanrawat Dechmitr who emerged victorious, having played alongside the likes of Chanathip Songkrasin, Adisak Kraisorn and Kawin Thamasatchanan as Thailand earned a 2-2 draw against Iraq last week, sealing qualification for the final stages of World Cup qualifying.
On Wednesday evening, Sanrawat opened the scoring with a deflected shot past Kawin. Adisak and Chanathip came off the bench at half-time and made an immediate impact, with Adisak levelling the score before Cleiton Silva put the Kirins ahead.
But, just as they had done in their previous fixture against Army United, Polking's side staged a late comeback, with Djurovksi equalising before Teerathep Winothai grabbed the winner with a shot that squirmed under Kawin's body.
Here are five things we learned from Match Day 5 of the PLT:
1. Djurovski's getting back to his best
The Macedonian playmaker was unusually subdued in his first couple of games for Bangkok United, following his close-season move from Muang Thong.
Three goals in his last two games, however, offer a sure sign that Djurovksi is hitting his stride. When asked if the goals had helped him settle in at his new club, Djurovski told ESPN FC, "I felt settled from the first day I was here but, of course, I needed some games to play well with the team. Mano is a very smart coach. He likes to take risks and this win came because he always believes in his vision and his work. I just like to win and if I can score and give assists, this is just a plus."
After scoring against his former club, Djurovski got down on his knees in front of the home fans and made a gesture of apology. "It was very difficult," added the Macedonian international. "I just wanted to show them that they will be always part of my life and, one more time, this was the best four years in my career. But I'm a professional and I know what my job is."
Djurovski's thoughts were also with the Muang Thong fan who recently died after suffering a heart attack at the SCG Stadium. The Macedonian playmaker said, "I dedicate this goal to Mr. Tee, the Muang Thong fan who passed away some days ago. He was one of the first guys that I met when I signed for Muang Thong."
Bangkok Angels head coach Polking is confident that fans are now seeing the best of the Macedonian. After some exuberant celebrations with his player, he told ESPN FC, "I have a good relationship with Mario and when we celebrate like this, it's like him having proved to me what he can do and me saying that I believe in him. In his first couple of games here, it wasn't easy but the team are now learning how to play to his strengths."
2. Ricardo raises spirits at Suphan
Sergio Alexandre lasted just four PLT games as head coach at Suphanburi after a pedestrian start to the season. An opening day defeat at Chiang Rai United was followed by an unconvincing victory at Chonburi. Two more uninspired performances followed as the War Elephant drew 0-0 at home to Pattaya United and then squeaked a 1-0 victory when they hosted Sisaket.
Management decided a change was necessary and in came former Ratchaburi and Bangkok Glass boss Ricardo Rodriguez. He marked his first game by earning a fine point at champions Buriram United.
The War Elephant hit back after Theerathon Bunmathan's thunderous drive put the hosts in front and Jakkapan Pornsai put Suphanburi 2-1 up with a 68th minute penalty before Anon Amornlerdsak equalised with 10 minutes remaining.
While it was disappointing to lose the chance to end Buriram's long domestic unbeaten run, it was a promising start to life at Suphanburi for Rodriguez.
3. Therdsak sees Sharks get their bite back
Thailand and Chonburi legend Therdsak Chaiman has had a tough start as head coach of the Sharks. A 9-0 defeat to FC Tokyo in AFC Champions league qualifying was the worst possible beginning and one win in the first three PLT games wasn't a great return, especially as all had been at home.
But Chonburi fans were in for the most pleasant of surprises when a double from Prakit Deeprom helped their side to a 4-1 victory at Chainat. Therdsak will hope that this timely boost in confidence will help his men before they travel to face Buriram on April 15th.
4. Polish striker helps Ratchaburi rediscover their Mojo
Lukasz Gikiewicz was finally cleared to play for Ratchaburi and announced his arrival in style with a first half double in a 4-0 victory at BEC Tero Sasana. The striker's registration was delayed after his move from Al-Wehda in Saudi Arabia but he took no time to adjust to the Thai game and endear himself to the Dragons' fans.
After two defeats, it was a welcome victory for the visitors and their new Polish star.
5. Bangkok Glass leave it late again
In the first half of last season, the Glass Rabbits developed a habit of netting late goals and they are back in the habit. Their recent 3-2 triumph at Chainat required a last-gasp strike from Daniel Toti Rodriguez and they were at it again on Wednesday as Tanasith Sripala completed a 2-1 comeback victory at Nakhon Ratchasima in the final minutes.
Bangkok Glass are now top of the table going into this weekend's home fixture against BEC Tero Sasana, which will be an excellent opportunity to pick up another three points.