Veni, Vidi, Vici, Boggy. (They came; they saw; they conquered; they played in a bog.)

Thai League 2

Picture: cmfc official

Saturday 10 September 2022
Chiang Mai FC 0 Rayong FC 2

Chiang Mai FC:

Stenio Jnr

Attendance: 1,639

I owe Rayong FC an apology. My expectations were low and I believed that Chiang Mai would have enough firepower to take the three points.

But on a pitch that, after incessant rain, resembled a lowland bog, Rayong played with energy and determination to take all three points and remain unbeaten after five games of the season.

As predicted (a rare insight) Fahas made his first appearance of the season replacing Kiadtiphon. Suwit replaced the suspended Sarawut at left back. And Suwannaphat moved to right back due to an injury to Rhyan Stewart.

Veljko Filipovic returned to partner Piyachanok at center-back.

The pitch was truly horrible; standing water and mud; not just down the centre of the pitch but down the wings as well. Rayong’s style proved better suited. This was not a pitch on which to try and play neat, incisive, passing football

The early threats came from the home side. Stenio, who was busy throughout the game, broke down the left and chipped the ball into the penalty areas where Tawan was unable to control the ball and was driven wide.

Pongrawit’s free-kick from wide right was handled by GiSung Yeon just outside his own penalty area. Tawan disappointingly drove the free-kick into the defensive wall.

Rayong then opened the scoring. A right side corner came low towards the front post; The Rayong centre-half, Wasusiwakit, reacted quickest in front of Piyachanok and the ball rather awkwardly diverted from the top of his head; over Fahas, and crept inside the far post.

Chiang Mai pushed for an equalizer; Piyachanok headed a corner straight at Noppakun; Suchanon swung and missed while unmarked in the penalty area.

Half time and Chiang Mai coach Fukuda brought on Amornthep for Tawan and Kiadtisak for Saharat Phosri.

Amornthep found the space to shoot from an angle. It was a comfortable save.

The best move of the game gave Rayong their second goal. Siwakorn spotted the run of Kirati into the penalty area. KIrati ran in behind Veljko and held the ball long enough for support to arrive before his short low pass gave Lwin Moe Aung a straightforward tap in.

Chiang Mai responded with Bo Yong Kim’s low shot producing a comfortable save; Piyachanok then directed his header invitingly across goal, but the big boot of substitute Obama was well-positioned to clear the threat.

Stenio, looking increasingly frustrated, was coming ever deeper to fetch the ball; filling the gaps that were all too visible in midfield. His cross from the left side was met by Bo Yong Kim and his header would have crept inside the far post without the sprawling intervention of Noppakun in goal.

One last chance came for Chiang Mai as Stenio chipped the ball onto the six-yard line where Amornthep’s header cannoned off the crossbar. Amornthep went down in pain – it looked like an ankle injury.

Rayong played out the game with little new threat. It was a classic away win built around a solid defense, a midfield that harried and harassed and an offense that took its chances.

Five games played, two successive defeats, goal-less at home, and a growing injury list. It is not yet a crisis, but it is unclear where goals, and wins, will come from.