Fifteen minutes that could make a season

Thai League 2

Saturday 8 October 2022
Kasetsart FC 2 Chiang Mai FC 3

Chiang Mai FC:

Bo Yong Kim

A goal down at half-time Chiang Mai FC were struggling to find inspiration. The second half started much as the first had ended. Until, that is, the last fifteen minutes of joyful mayhem built upon two inspired substitutions.

For the first time this season Chiang Mai started in a 3-5-2 formation. With Veljo, Suwannaphat and Piyachanok as a back three.

The novelty value was exposed very quickly when Fahas had to make a first minute save as Kritsana headed Rak-Aok’s left wing cross towards the far post.

That early warning simply foretold the home side’s seventh minute goal as Chiang Mai failed to clear Hong Kim’s cross, the ball being shinned by Piyachanok for Piamplai to stab past Fahas from ten yards.

The goal came as Ronnayod was being treated after a nasty fall beyond the goal line; unable to carry on he was seen being taken away in an ambulance. Hopefully it was  just precautionary. Suchanon replaced him.

Natapong’s cross, this time from the right side, was met by Pitbull, his header bounced and was well watched and turned over the crossbar by Fahas. Rak-Aok would shoot wide from the resulting corner.

Chiang Mai’s first real threats on goal came at the end of the first half, Gustavsson turning well but firing into a defender and Kim heading a Suwit cross over the bar.

In injury time at the end of the half Gustavsson’s instinctive volley from eighteen yards was inches over the cross bar.

To be honest the first half was a worry; Chiang Mai looked static up front; and across the pitch there were too many mistakes. It all looked a little lethargic.

The second half started with little change; although it was good to see Pitbull in the dog house when he was booked by the referee.

While the game was largely being played in the Kasetsart half it was far from clear how the visitors would find an equalizer.

With fifteen minutes to go coach Fukuda sent on Im Changkyoon for Pongrawit and Tawan for Patrick Gustavsson.

The game changed. Im’s first two touches almost created chances for the visitors. He was not to be stopped.

The equalizer came a minute later; Ryhan Stewart, after a difficult first half, fired his firm right wing cross into the six yard area where Kritsana could only help the ball towards the back post where Suchanon was in space to react quickly and nod the ball home.

Four minutes later Im Chang Kyoon’s left side free kick was curled into the area; first to the ball was the Kasetsart defender Thanandorn who could only deflect the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Looking unstoppable, Im’s corner kick was met by a massive leap from Tawan to head the ball home for Chiang Mai’s third and Tawan’s first of the season. It will do him so much good. And I have missed his acrobatic celebrations.

Kasetsart pulled a goal back in injury time when Toto’s shot was deflected off Suwannaphat; Fahas was unable to gather the bouncing ball and Tanpisit slid home the rebound for 2-3. It was a consolation.

Sadly a crowd of just 342 witnessed the second half thrills.

Next up for CMFC – Sunday 16th October at the Municipal Stadium in Chiang Mai at home to Customs United. Kick off  is at 17.30pm.